Crazy Chic was beaten on his only visit to Chelmsford, in May, but that defeat came over 6 furlongs and the son of Exceed And Excel has since taken his form to a new level over 7 furlongs. His half-a-length defeat of Hold Tight at Lingfield three weeks ago – with subsequent winner Dutiful Son back in fourth – was the best we’ve seen from him and, in his current mood, may be able to complete a hat-trick in the Scoop6soccer Handicap (6.05) at Chelmsford on Thursday.
Clondaw Banker started favourite for the race won by Old Guard at Cheltenham last month, but could only finish sixth of eleven, beaten 9¼ lengths behind the winner. However, the Court Cave gelding made amends when winning a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Sandown eleven days ago, a victory for which he escapes a penalty. His previous form also took on new significance when Old Guard followed up in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday so, despite stepping up in class, Clondaw Banker is quite a confident selection in the Lord Tennyson Handicap Hurdle (2.05) at Market Rasen.
Selections: Chelmsford 6.05 Crazy Chic, Market Rasen 2.05 Clondaw Banker (win double)
Nothing succeeds like success, or so the saying goes, so in the hope of a nice payday this week we’ve come up with three selections, each of which is seeking a hat-trick and each of which is, coincidentally, facing similar opposition to last time.
Love The Leader completed a four-timer over hurdles and fences in the space of twelve days last month and can take his winning tally to five in the Totequadpot Four Places in Four Races Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2.10) at Taunton on Thursday. The handicapper has had his say, raising the gelding 14lb for his most recent success, but Johnny Farrelly’s 7-year-old should benefit from stepping back up to 2 miles 7 furlongs and there’s no telling where his improvement could end.
Helium has returned to action in fine form and can defy a 7lb penalty in the Support the Ludlow On Course Bookmakers Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2.00) at Ludlow. Aleaxandra Dunn’s 10-year-old failed to trouble the judge in five starts over hurdles last season, but is 2-3 over fences this season and ran on well to win by 4½ lengths over course and distance ten days ago, despite being hampered on the bend at the top of the home straight.
Last, but hopefully not least, Charlies Mate appears to have improved for the drop back to a mile on his two most recent starts and is another who can defy a 7lb rise in the weights in the Win a Football Fortune with Scoop6 Soccer Handicap (6.55) at Chelmsford. The Myboycharlie gelding has finished outside the first three just three times in his last fifteen starts and won on his only previous visit to Chelmsford two starts ago.
Selections: Taunton 2.10 Love The Leader, Ludlow 2.00 Helium, Chelmsford 6.55 Charlies Mate (3 x win doubles, 1 x win treble)
Oxfordshire trainer Harry Whittington has made a cracking start to the season with seven winners from 25 runners at a strike rate of 28% and can improve that record with Duke Of Medina in the Winner Ap Juvenile Hurdle (1.10) at Market Rasen on Thursday. The son of Rock Of Gibraltar made a satisfactory debut over obstacles when second, beaten 2¼ lengths, behind hot favourite Duke Street in a small race at Ludlow last month and, back on soft ground, can go one better.
Harry Whittington’s Oxfordshire neighbour Charlie Longsdon can also do little wrong so far this season, with 40 winners from 158 runners at a strike rate of 25%, and has bright prospects with Ready Token in the Winner.co.uk Handicap Chase (2.15). The Flemensfirth gelding won with any amount in hand over course and distance last month and a 9lb rise in the weights may not be enough to prevent him recording his third win from five starts.
At Musselburgh, Irish raider Winter Lion made a winning debut over hurdles at Punchestown three weeks ago and can defy a 7lb penalty on his British debut in the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Novices’ Hurdle (2.05). The Galileo gelding won a couple of times over 1 mile 6 furlongs on the Flat, but stayed on well to assert close home at the Co. Kildare track and may have more to offer.
Selections: Market Rasen 1.10 Duke Of Medina
Market Rasen 2.15 Ready Token
Musselburgh 2.05 Winter Lion
3 x win doubles, 1 x win treble
The 32Red/EBFstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes (3.20) at Lingfield on Thursday is tricky, not least because the highest rated fillies in the field, Dusky Queen and Pack Together, have no form whatsoever on synthetic surfaces. Redkhat has a few pounds to find with the principals on official ratings, but has winning form on Polytrack and wasn’t beaten far in the Group 3 International Istanbul Trophy at Veliefendi in Turkey last month. The Shamardal filly has made steady progress on turf this season and may yet have more to offer.
In the Download the Ladbrokes App Apprentice Handicap (4.20) at Lingfield, Bookmaker has yet to win over 7 furlongs, but has no stamina issues and still looks well handicapped on his form over 6 furlongs. John Bridger’s 5-year-old is only 2lb higher in the weights than when winning a better race over 6 furlongs at the Surrey track in August and that form has been franked by the second, Monsieur Jamie, so he must have a decent chance.
Selections: Lingfield 3.20 Redkhat, Lingfield 4.20 Bookmaker (each-way double)
Oxfordshire trainer Charlie Longsdon has been an excellent source of winners for Richard Johnson in recent years and particularly so over the smaller obstacles this season. Johnson has an outstanding record of 12-23 (52%) on hurdlers for the yard, for a level stakes profit of 13.77 points, so we thought we’d use that statistic for the basis of our multiple bet this week.
The pair team up again for Western Miller in the Apollobet Online Games and Casino Novices’ Hurdle (2.20) and Shear Rock in the Apollobet Best Odds Guaranteed Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (3.25) at Carlisle on Thursday.
Western Miller was a beaten favourite for the second time in a ‘bumper’ at Worcester last month but, although unable to go with the winner, Wholestone, in the closing stages, still pulled 12 lengths clear of the remainder. That form has been franked by the fourth, Crimson Ark, who won a similar novices’ hurdle at Market Rasen last week, so the Wesetrner gelding may be able to get off themark over obstacles at the first time of asking.
Shear Rock is already 3-4 under Richard Johnson this season, but looked better than ever when winning in this grade, off a 6lb lower mark, at Fontwell three weeks ago and can complete a four-timer. All three wins this season have come on fairly sharp, or sharp, tracks, but he stays further, so should have no problem with this stiffer test of stamina.
Selections: Carlisle 2.20 Western Miller, Carlisle 3.25 Shear Rock (win double)