Our resident tipster is hoping to take some money off his local bookmakers on Sunday.
They’re racing at my local course Uttoxeter on Sunday and I’m hopeful this trio of runners can help pay for the day out.
The opening maiden hurdle over a few yards shy of 2m4f looks between Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Gold and COOPER’S FRIEND representing Charlie Longsdon. The latter trainer is always worth following here and particularly in non-handicaps, with a record of eight winners from 19 runners (42%) in such races since 2013 for a level-stakes profit of £7.08. His runner here showed enough when a close second on his Rules debut at Southwell in June to suggest he can win a race of this nature and the presence of the O’Neill horse should ensure he goes off at a backable price, hopefully.
Longsdon also had ARGOT entered in this race and that horse could bring up a stable across-the-card double, having taken up an alternative engagement in the opening novices’ hurdle at Plumpton (2.00pm).
The David Pipe-trained BARNEBY showed next to nothing in four starts for the stable last season, but he could improve dramatically now he tackles handicap company off what is a potentially lenient mark of 99, with the step up to three miles also in his favour. His sire Dom Alco is a strong influence for stamina and he was therefore never going to show his best over two miles, although that didn’t stop him being sent off as favourite for a Listed bumper on his racecourse debut at Cheltenham.
He’s evidently thought capable of better than he’s shown so far and he wouldn’t be the first stable runner to improve dramatically for a step up in trip on their handicap debut, with a fair few gambles landed in the process. I’m just hoping his uninspiring form figures of ‘0707’ might allow us to get a price, although I suspect the bookmakers may cotton on too. Either way, he really ought to win this if he has an ounce of ability, or else his connections may as well give up.
The closing handicap hurdle for novices looks quite trappy, but I’m keen to take on the forecast favourite Triple Eight, who scrambled home by a nose in a weak race at Stratford at the beginning of this month and is now 5lb higher as a result. He could prove vulnerable and the Mick Appleby trained ALYS ROCK may be the one to take advantage.
She’s one of the least exposed runners in the field after just six starts and she showed enough on last month’s handicap debut at Huntingdon, where taking on the progressive winner from the third last proved too much, to suggest she can win off her current mark of 98. Appleby doesn’t have many runners here – just 15 over the past five seasons, three of which have won for a level-stakes profit of £44.00 – and his booking of Sam Twiston-Davies catches the eye.
Uttoxeter 1.40, Cooper’s Friend @ best morning-line odds
Plumpton 2.00, Argot @ best morning-line odds
Uttoxeter 2.40, Barneby @ best morning-line odds
Uttoxeter 5.10, Alys Rock @ best morning-line odds