Monday's feature of the day is full access to the PACE tab for all readers to all races, including our selected 'races of the day', which are set to be...
- 3.45 Limerick
- 4.00 Pontefract
- 4.45 Windsor
- 5.40 Tramore
- 6.00 Market Rasen
- 6.20 Kempton
A really busy day of racing ahead and the fifth of our free races is actually the second most valuable race of the day, so off to Lincolnshire we go, for the 6.00 Market Rasen, a competitive-looking 8-runner, Class 3, Handicap Hurdle over 2m7f on Good ground, where one of these eight will land the top prize of £6,862...
Tight Call won at both Southwell (2m5f) and Ludlow (2m6f) last "winter" season and rounded off that campaign a month ago with another really good run at Uttoxeter, finishing second over 2m7.5f in this grade on soft ground. He's up 5lbs for that run, but he does prefer quicker ground, so conditions here should be more beneficial/helpful and I think he has a real chance here.
Really Super has won 3 times and placed 3 times in 10 starts over hurdles and this versatile mare has also won on the A/W, over fences and in a bumper. She was outclassed at the Festival last month and hasn't traced over hurdles since winning at Worcester in late August 2019, but has been running consistently well since then, that Cheltenham run aside. She runs off 130 here, some 7lbs lower than her chase mark and if adapting back to hurdles first time up, I think she should be involved in the shake up.
Supakalanistic won here over hurdles (Class 4, 2m7.5f) just over 14 months ago at the start of a run of great form over hurdles, on the Flat , on the A/W and in bumpers where his results were 17112122 up to the end of February this year. He wasn't at this best when stepped up to Class 2 last time out and ended up being pulled up before 3 out having tailed off, but gets a chance to redeem himself off the same career-high mark today. His yard have a good record over hurdles here, but I fear he might just be too high in weights.
Mr Scrumpy won over hurdles at Newcastle (Class 2, 2m6f) 13 months ago to close his season off and then won again next time out, some 214 days later at Wetherby (Class 3, 3m) off 5lbs higher and the same mark as today, but has struggled since finishing 10th of 12 (bt by 30L), last of 7 (31L) and 9th of 10 (42L) before unseating at the 7th here over C&D just under four weeks ago. Past successes say he could win here, recent form says he won't and I think the recent form will win out, sadly.
Neville's Cross started his last campaign well with back to back wins at Uttoxeter (C4, 2m7.5f) and Hereford (C3, 3m2f), but was subsequently beaten by 18 lengths and 71 lengths in his final two outings, both at Class 2. He drops back down in class here and is eased a pound on the weights, but still runs off a mark 11lbs higher than his last win, which is problematic, especially after a 20-week absence.
Shinobi returned to action from an eight month layoff to win on his hurdling debut at Uttoxeter in September (C4, 2m4f) and after finishing fourth at Exeter, won again on October at Wincanton (C4, 2m5.5f) before a runner-up finish at Ludlow took his Novice Hurdle form to 1417. He made his handicap debut in a Listed race at Kempton in early January, also over 2m5.5f and struggled before tailing off and being pulled up before 2 out. This is easier on paper and the ground will be better, but he's not massively well treated off 125 and he hasn't tackled a race this long before.
Linelee King went down by just half a length on bumper debut in last October 2019, but won next time out before finding the Weatherbys Champion Bumper too hot too handle in last year's Cheltenham Festival. He wasn't seen again for 207 days when popping up to win on his hurdles debut at Kelso (C4, 2m0.5f) in a novice contest. He made his handicap debut last time out, when a runner-up beaten by a length and a half at Southwell (C4, 3m0.5f) and that should stand him in good stead here, but he is up in class and weight, so may need further improvement to land this.
Giovanni Change got off the mark over hurdles at the sixth time of asking when landing a Class 4 contest over 2m5f here at Market Rasen a fortnight ago, when allowed a soft lead enabling him to make all from the front on the way to a five length victory. I can't see it being that easy today, as I'm sure he won't be allowed another easy lead, plus he's up 7lbs, up in trip and up in class here. This is a tougher ask and he's wilted under pressure in the past.
Unusually after assessing the runners of an eight-runner contest, I've no horses that I think can't win the race : it's a really good looking contest for the grade/prize money. Some look far more likely than others to succeed, but all of them have already proved that they could win a race like this.
Instant Expert shows us a quick comparison based on going, class, course, distance and field size and also shows their current OR to their last winning mark. I like to see blocks of green here when sifting through a race and I also like to see more than one winning run, so from the above it would be Tight Call and Really Super on the ground, Really Super and Mr Scrumpy at Class 3, Mr Scrumpy again at the trip and Tight Call, Really Super & Supakalanistic on field size, whilst reminding ourselves that Shinobi and Linelee King have only once previous handicap run, hence the lack of data.
We know that Giovanni change had all his own way and ran away with it here at Market Rasen last time out, but would those tactics be a good idea over this longer trip? Will he have it his own way if he wanted to? The easiest way to answer those questions is via 'feature of the day', the PACE tab...
And the answers are that no, leading isn't vital here, hanging just off the pace is better, but mid-division is best. That said with an IV of 0.96, leaders do win pretty much their fair share of races and the real negative is to be held-up (not good for Nevilles Cross fans). The other query about who will lead is clear too, Giovanni Change won't get it all his own way and the classy Really Super has won better races than this from an advanced position, including a 2m6.5f Grade 3 chase on this very track nine months ago, whilst Supakalanistic and Shinobi will also be keen to get on with it.
Giovanni hasn't handled pressure well in the past and if there's a four-way go, he might be first to crack and of the four, I'd expect Really Super and Supakalanistic to hold out the longest. It could, of course, all boil over and leave the door open from something from further back and there's a trio waiting to pounce in the shape of Tight Call, Mr Scrumpy and Linelee King. Of that trio, I'd be least keen on Mr Scrumpy due to his more recent efforts.
There could well be two races going on here, a group of four trying to win from the front and another four trying to time a late run to perfection. I'm going to split the field in half and take two of the front runners and two of the second group as my first cut...
...and I'll then make my selection from (alphabetically, of course) Linelee King, Really Super, Supakalanistic and Tight Call.
Picking the one I like most here is easier than decide who doesn't make my three against the field to be honest and based on everything above, plus her class/ability, I'm happy to take a punt on Really Super re-adapting to hurdling here and 6/1 might look generous, we'll see!
Of the other three, it's really tight and any of them could make the frame. On my own numbers/ratings, I can't split Linelee King and Tight Call and I've only got Supakalanistic a whisker behind them. That said, I've got all four ahead of the 7/2 fav Giovanni Change, so I might end up with egg on my face anyway.