Our racing expert likes a trio of runners this afternoon.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has his horses in great form and the trainer could be amongst the winners with his sole runner at Southwell this afternoon.
It’s safe to say that ABIGAIL LYNCH is one of the stable’s lesser lights but she’s not without ability, as she showed when winning a bumper and two of her eight hurdle starts. But given her pedigree she was always going to make a chaser and, while she’s yet to trouble the judge in four runs over the larger obstacles, she has shown enough to suggest this afternoon’s 3m handicap chase at Southwell (due off 1.50pm) can go her way.
She’s also shown some considerable leniency by the handicapper who has dropped her a whopping 16lb since finishing fifth at this track last May. Now on a mark of 113, which is 19lb lower than her peak hurdles rating, and with Jamie Bargary taking 5lb off her back, she’s undoubtedly weighted to win one of these, and especially now she’s stepping up to a more suitable trip having looked a little one paced over shorter. Global Dream is the one I fear most.
The best racing is over in Ireland where DESOTO COUNTY will prove popular for the Grade B handicap hurdle over 2m (5.05pm). His trainer Gordon Elliott put him away after he finished an unlucky third in a valuable handicap at Leopardstown in January to protect his mark and that worked too well as he failed to make the cut for the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Today’s race will take far less winning and with the stable in terrific form, he can take care of his 14 rivals with Bryan Cooper doing the steering.
When betting on bumpers it usually pays to heed the market and there seems to be some confidence behind Malcolm Jefferson’s TIGER MOUNTAIN, who has put in as an early favourite for the closing bumper at Hexham (due off 4.50pm) on his racecourse debut. That may have something to do with the opposition as none of those that had a race have shown much, while the other debutants hail from stable’s that are not known for first-time-out winners.
Not so Tiger Mountain whose trainer is operating at a healthy strike rate of 26% (8-31) rate in bumpers this season and who quite recently sent out Only Orvieto to land one of these at Catterick at the first time of asking. Since then he’s had a further four winners from just a handful of runners and all were ridden by Brian Hughes, who gets the leg up this afternoon. With the ground riding soft, this will take some getting and the selection, who has plenty of stamina in his pedigree, should be in his element.