Post-racing edit for P&L:
£13 staked today (based on £1 single bets and the recommended EW double).
Two winners: Speredek at 5/2 and Summerville Boy at 16/1 (after Rule 4 this £17 return was reduced to £15.40).
That gives a profit today of £5.90 and a running loss in 2018 of £1.10p.
We come into today £7 down on 2018 bets. Nine races to get through, so let’s crack on . . .
Some smart juveniles here and a couple are doubly engaged. I’ll go with one who impressed me at Sandown last time – Sussex Ranger. What surprised me about that run was how well he kept on, having made all. He looked like he’d fold at one point and then found more. He’s also engaged in the 2.25 Sandown and he’ll be my selection there too as I’d back him wherever he runs tomorrow.
Sussex Ranger 3/1
This is the Welsh National, postponed from Christmas time. Back then I tipped Silsol for it. He was available for a few pounds at 69/1 on Betfair. That won’t be repeated although you can get 33/1 with many bookmakers at the time of writing.
Silsol caught my eye one day at Carlisle when beating Maximiser and Seeyouatmidnight; he looked just the type to pick up a decent long distance handicap in heavy ground and that’s what he gets tomorrow. He was off more than a year after beating Native River over hurdles but returned a month ago at Haydock over hurdles and ran a typical prep-type race being prominent for a long time behind all the way winner Sam Spinner.
Silsol’s chasing experience is limited but the upside of that is he is rated 8lbs lower over fences than over hurdles. And the talented Bryony Frost takes off 5lbs. On breeding, he’s the only offspring of his sire and dam to try this trip and he is the one in the family who has won over farthest – 3m2f. You can never say something will stay until it stays but there is no evidence that Silsol will not stay and at the price I’m more than willing to take the chance.
I’m going to have a saver too on Buckthorn Timothy who has been hurdling to protect his handicap mark over fences. He’ll like the ground and could go well. You ca get 25/1 with most bookies.
Buckthorn Timothy 25/1
Speredek is the youngest in this race by quite some way and has been improving over hurdles. He ended lasts eason with three chasing wins, one at Sandown, and he should go well on this his first outing over fences this season.
Sussex Ranger is also engaged in the 1.35 at Chepstow which is reportedly his preference. If he does turn up here he’d be my selection. In his absence I’d happily have a small bet on the outsider Summerville Boy who has run quite well in defeat and might just want this heavy ground to blunt the pace of the others.
Sussex Ranger 7/1
if absent, Summerville Boy 16/1 (Rule 4 if Sussex Ranger doesn’t run)
A veteran’s race worth £100,000 – you can count on one cert, there’ll have been more than one of these laid out specially for this. My main selection probably does not fit that bill but he has a habit of running very well after being pulled up (as he was last time). No Duffer is the name and I hope he lives up to it.
I’ll have a saver on Double Ross who’ll be much more comfortable at this pace than he was in the old Hennessy last time.
No Duffer 25/1
Double Ross 11/1
NB – I think there’s a fair chance that No Duffer will at least place and the same goes for Silsol in the 2.05 Chepstow. I’ll be having a small EW double and advise that you do the same – 25/1 and 33/1.
Clayton has won at the track and on the ground. He hurdles well and was probably idling last time before picking up again to win in a photo. He was off all last season and could well be progressing now. He’ll do for me.
Half of this six-runner field is doubly engaged. One who is not is Antartica De Thaix, an improving mare who has won on this ground.
Antartica De Thaix 7/4
Silverhow has decent hurdle form and has clocked fair Topspeed figures too in that discipline. He fell at the first on his chasing debut but is well worth another chance here.
14 of Edvardo’s 15 runs have been in Ireland. He moved to Richard Woollacott in November and ran right up to his best Racing Post Rating figure on his first outing for the yard. He was second that day but the first and third have won since and Edvardo can take this.
Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.