Our racing expert marks your card for Wednesday's racing.
Nearly half of today’s flat races have less than eight runners and I’m struggling to find a worthwhile bet, but thankfully the jumps comes to the rescue.
A field of eight has been declared for the feature novices’ chase over 3m1f and they are headed by Charlie Longsdon’s Kilfinichen Bay, who sets a decent standard on his overall form. A 140-rated hurdler, he made a winning debut over fences at Uttoxeter in May (albeit against two rivals) and was a fair third at Worcester on his penultimate start. However, he’s been pulled up on his two other starts over the bigger obstacles and, while this is far easier than the Listed contest he ran in last time, he might struggle to give weight to chasing newcomer FINGERONTHESWITCH, the mount of Noel Fehily.
Neil Mulholland’s charge won twice over hurdles and ran off a mark of 138 when finishing midfield in a competitive handicap hurdle at Cheltenham when last seen in April. But the son of Beneficial was always going to be a better chaser having shown some useful form in point-to-points when based in Ireland, winning once and finishing a four-length second to the smart Shantou Village on another occasion. With his stable going well, I’m not too concerned by his 118-day absence and he looks to have that touch of class required to win this.
The 2m4f handicap chase run later on the card is just as competitive with 12 set to go to post. Three of the runners are coming off placed efforts but the one that all have to beat is the Colin Tizzard-trained MINELLA WEB, who is making his debut for the stable having lost his way for Richard Woollacott and finishing tailed off when last seen out at Kempton in May. He’s far better than that and is very good when he gets his favoured fast ground, as he showed when hacking up by 55 lengths at Worcester in May of 2014 off just a 1lb higher mark than today’s.
That is his only win in seven chase starts under Rules but he’s won three times between the flags in Ireland and, still only seven, he might have a little more improvement in him. He’s certainly joined the right stable to unlock his full potential and this 0-100 looks a good opportunity for him to double his British tally, with the ground forecast to be riding on the fast side of good. The booking of Aidan Coleman, who has a healthy 18% (6-33) strike rate on the stable runners since 2012, clinches the bet.
A £10 double on today’s selections at current bet365 odds pays a tidy £112.50.