Big-priced handicap winners are the order of the day.
With nothing leaping off the page at today’s jumps offering at Exeter, I’m turning to the handicaps at Windsor for today fix.
They should come with a punters’ wealth warning but at least provide an opportunity to back a decent priced winner. That’s what I’m hoping for from Michael Wigham’s FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, who is running in the second division of the 6f Windsor Handicap (due off 3.55pm).
The six-year-old finished second off today’s mark at Goodwood in July and again ran well to finish fourth at that track last time, when doing best of those horses who didn’t race out wide. Prior to that he’d finished a close up fifth (of 10) in a better race than this Ascot and is definitely weighted to win of these, being 7lb lower than when winning over track and trip in June 2014.
If you’re a regular reader you will know I’m pay close attention to trainer form and the selection ticks that particular box as the stable has sent out two winners from just six runners in the last fortnight. One of those was ridden by today’s pilot George Baker, who has a healthy 19% strike rate at the track and is 27% on the stable runners, with all his rides yielding a level-stakes profit of £37.96.
It’s more recent form and a strong record at the track that steers me towards the second bet, the Lee Carter-trained TIDAL’S BABY, who is one of 14 declared for the ominous sounding War Of The Worlds #pushthebutton Handicap (4.25pm).
They all have claims but the selection does have the look of the #winner as he has been knocking on the door of late, twice finishing second in his last three starts. The last of those at Kempton can be upgraded as he missed the kick and had to rousted along in last in the early stages of the race, before staying on best of all.
He can run off the same mark of 58 this afternoon and that was also his perch the last time he ran over course and distance, when finishing an unlucky fifth. He lost ground that day when rearing exiting the stalls that day and then made up stacks of ground on the outer to be not beaten that far. Perhaps he has an aversion to starting stalls and for that reason stakes should be kept small, but he’s definitely got it in him to win one of these and is a double-figure price to do so.