Wincanton is the main meeting for televised action today and Harry Fry can put us firmly in the black by taking the first two races.
The Hunts Food Service Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at 1.50 has a field of seven and our trusty pin comes down firmly on Litterale Ci, which is available, as a win bet, at 4-1. Usually ridden, as today, by the fragrant colleen Aileen O’Connor, this 5-y-o has won 3 from her last 4, with heavy ground the reason for the blip two runs ago. Just 6lbs higher than for her last run, AO’C can produce her late to win again. That’s the theory, anyway.
The Jockey Club Ownership Syndicate ‘Rising Stars’ Novices’ Chase at 2.25 looks a match between Paul Nicholls’ Chase debutant Secret Investor and young Harry‘s runner Bags Groove. Always going to make a better chaser than hurdler, Bags won well last time out, experience which should give it the edge today. Smash into it at 5-4 please.
Mr Fry also has an intriguing runner in the Unibet Elite Hurdle at 3.00 in the shape of the unbeaten If The Cap Fits, which locks metaphoric horns with the similarly unbeaten Henderson jobby We Have A Dream. However, we think they could both lose their perfect records today behind NJH‘s ‘other one’, the flying mare Verdana Blue. This 6-y-o has a bit to find on official figures, but looked a much improved horse last time out when winning a Listed event at Kempton with contemptuous ease. With ground conditions to suit, we predict a win for the girls at 5-2.
The Paul Nicholls’ Benefit Race, otherwise known as the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at 3.35 is the most competitive race on the card with a field of 16 and our hero trains the first three in the betting.
Present Man won this last year and is just two lbs higher, El Bandit has won its only chase and is well in on hurdles form, while you just know that Captain Buck’s will run its usual game race.
‘So what’s the plan?’ we hear you wail.
OK, lets backPresent Man (5-1) and El Bandit (5-1) to win and go each way on Captain Buck’s (9-1)
The cameras are also covering one race at Aintree, that being the Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase at 2.40 and we put forward another Nicholls‘ inmate for this with Romain De Senam, available as a win bet at 11-4. Trust Lorcan Williams to do the biz.
Finally (who said ‘thank God?) we’ll have a go at the last big handicap of the Flat season, the Marathonbet November Handicap, which is at 3.15 over at Doncaster.
With 23 runners, we’ll give you two against the field: Eddystone Rock, in the hope that John Best can finally train a winner and Baydar in the hope that it’s the best of the Ian Williams’ three. 12-1 and 14-1 are the odds of reward, each way natch.
Here endeth the lesson.
Litterale Ci 1.50 Wincanton win @ 4-1
Bags Groove 2.25 Wincanton win @ 5-4
Verdana Blue 3.00 Wincanton win @ 5-2
Present Man 3.35 Wincanton win @ 5-1
El Bandit 3.35 Wincanton win @ 5-1
Captain Buck’s 3.35 Wincanton e/w @ 9-1
Romain De Senam 2.40 Aintree win @ 11-4
Eddystone Rock 3.15 Doncaster e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Baydar 3.15 Doncaster e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)