Our resident tipster has his eye on a couple of big-priced runners.
There’s a nice mixture of flat and jumps action this afternoon and I fancy one under each code.
Nottingham stages a competitive eight-day card and the best bet lies in the 1m2f handicap (due off 4.45pm) in the shape of the Ralph Beckett-trained CAMAGUEYANA, who has been put in at a very generous 12/1.
A winner on the all-weather at Kempton last November on just her third trip to the races, she ran her best race in three starts this term when finishing a head second to Muraabit over 1m1f at Ffos Las last time. Having been held up in the early stages that day, she made her move two furlongs out and was doing all her best work late on, making the winner pull out all the stops.
A 3lb rise seems fair and, given here style of racing, the extra furlong she has to travel this afternoon is very much in her favour. She seemed to appreciate the easier surface at Ffos Las, having raced on faster ground on turf previously, and today’s rain-softened ground (they’re calling it “good to soft”) only enhances her chances further. Harry Bentley, who has a respectable 17% strike rate on the stable runners, takes the ride.
Over jumps now and a potentially very well handicapped horse in MOOJANED. David Evans’ four-year-old had five runs over hurdles last season without cutting much ice, although he did achieve his best position of third (albeit well adrift) in a juvenile hurdle here last November won by Stars Over The Sea. Handicapped on those efforts, he lines up today off a mark of 94, meaning he gets weight from all his rivals.
What makes him such a good bet today, though, is the improvement he has shown on the flat this summer. It all started with in early June with a victory in a Lingfield handicap off a mark of 53 on good to firm and, having won twice more – amateur rider handicaps at Newbury and Windsor – he was up to 70 when finishing third on his latest start on the level in early September.
The horse he beat at Windsor in August, Gioia Di Vita, is now rated in the low-130s over jumps, so you don’t have to be a genius to work out the selection is thrown in here, providing he can translate his improvement to hurdles. A combination of a right-handed track like this one and fast ground will help him in that respect and, even better, we get to back him at a tasty 10/1.