Our resident tipster has included a 25/1 ante post punt in today's selections.
The ground is likely to be very testing at Lingfield this afternoon, but that won’t bother today’s nap FOUROVAKIND one bit.
The Harry Whittington-trained ten-year-old revels in the mud as he showed when winning a handicap chase on “heavy” at Chepstow last season, and both his hurdle wins came on deep ground. For his age, he’s relatively lightly-raced over fences after just nine starts and has been a model of consistency for connections throughout his career, having finished out of the first three just four times from 16 starts under Rules.
Whittington must be be very fond of this horse as he gave him his first ever winner after taking out a licence and the up-and-coming is hoping to run him in the Welsh National at Chepstow, where he clearly excels – never been out of the first three in six runs, winning twice. For that to happen, though, he needs to climb the ratings as his current mark of 127 is not high enough to get in. That makes me think he will be fit enough to win on his seasonal reappearance and I’m further encouraged by his third in a race here last season, as it shows he can act away from the Welsh track.
The real clincher for a bet, though, is the form of his stable, which is operating at a strike rate of 37.93 per cent this season. This jumps to 50 per cent over fences (2-4) and the trainer’s last seven runners have finished 123118. I rest my case and would also advise a small each-way bet on him for the Welsh National at the current 25/1 with bet365 as that will be history if he wins today, as expected.
Master Jake is likely to be a warm order for the 2m novices’ hurdle run earlier on the card (2.00) and Dan Skelton’s runner has some impressive form figures next to his name (2211-1). However, this former point-to-point winner was just 4/11 when making a winning reappearance at Hexham and is penalised for that success here. It’s also a concern that he appeared to have quite a hard race in the process and that makes him opposable on his return just 11 days later and at odds-on. What’s more he’s taking on a couple of decent prospects in Alberta, who won an Irish bumper when last seen and has joined Jim Best, and the Evan Williams-trained WABANAKI.
It’s the latter horse that really grabs my attention at the current odds as he is held in high regard by his trainer, who said of him in a recent Stable Tour: “He definitely has a lot of ability and I’m looking forward to him going over hurdles. I think a lot of him, which is the reason I ran him in the Aintree bumper, but the ground was too quick for him that day.” It was “heavy” when he won a Ffos Las bumper back in February and, with conditions being similar this afternoon and with his stable in flying form, he simply has to be worth an interest.