Tuesday's race didn't quite pan out the way I expected, but it still went well enough to provide with a 5/1 winner. The overnight favourite drifted like a barge and the layers were right about him. Thankfully so were we!
And now to Wednesday, where the 'feature of the day' is the Trainer Stats report, whilst our 'free races of the day' are...
- 1.45 Market Rasen
- 1.55 Tipperary
- 3.12 Haydock
- 4.25 Hereford
And the last of that quartet looks quite interesting. Only five are set to go to post for the 4.25 Hereford, but my first impression is that at least four of them could win it! It's only a Class 5 Mares handicap chase over 2m5f on Good ground, but it might be a fascinating encounter at the lower end of the spectrum. Here's how they line up...
Secret Court has yet to make the frame in nine start (2 x NHF, 5 x Hrd, 2 x Chs) and has failed to complete her last three races after unseating her rider on her chase debut at Leicester ahead of a fall at Ludlow. She reverted back to hurdles last time out, possibly to regain a little jumping confidence, but didn't see 2m3.5f, being pulled up before the last hurdle.
Carpool was probably politely described as a modest hurdler at best, after making the frame just three times in a winless 14-race career and was left to run her own race on chase debut last time out. They'd thrown her straight into a Class 3 contest on heavy ground and without really getting involved in the race, finished third of six, but beaten by some 50 lengths. She's down two classes here and should come on for having had the run, but I'm worried that she's already a perennial loser.
Barden Bella made a few jumping errors last time out and eventually fell quite heavily two out in a heavy ground 3m1f contest, having won on her chase debut a month earlier. That win came over 1m7.5f on soft ground at Catterick, so today's contest is in between the two, distance wise and on quicker ground. Her mark is unaltered from last time, but I'm unsure how she'll react to the fall allied to running on quicker ground (good to firm didn't suit her).
Pottlereaghexpress is another yet to win after several attempts, 17 in total! SHe was placed in just 2 of 12 over hurdles, but has finished 3023232 since moving to Toby Lawes yard, the last five of those runs being her chase career to date. Unlike Carpool above, I don't see this as a perennial loser just yet, her form over fences suggests she wouldn't be winning out of turn, but she has been tough to follow from a financial point of view!
Leave My Alone brings the best recent form to the table here, with finishes of 212 in her last three starts. She stays beyond three miles and does most of her racing on mud, so the trip might be a bit sharp for her on quick ground here, but she is the form horse and ran really well to get within three lengths of Ring The Moon last time out.
In a race shy of many past victories over fences, I thought it'd be best to consider the Instant Expert in place mode...
Two of the three in green have gone on to win over fences already, but now race off much higher marks, whilst Pottlereaghexpress might be about to win for the first after knocking on the door several times lately.
From a pace perspective, these small-field races can become tactical affairs and whilst leading or racing prominent has proved to be successful here in the past...
...I think we need to tread carefully with the pace map, as three of these five have two chase runs or fewer, but here's how we think they might set out...
Barden Bella has actually led in each of her last two starts, so she'll probably lead them along here ahead of Leave My Alone who seems to always race prominently. Carpool was a fairly prominent racer over hurdles, whilst both Pottlereaghexpress and Secret Court are sure to be waited with.
There's not a great deal to go off, but I think this is Pottlereaghexpress' best chance of getting off the mark and although Barden Bella might well attempt to set the pace, I think she'll be swallowed up by Leave My Alone, who I fancy to finish second here.
So, it's Pottlereaghexpress at 10/3 to beat Leave My Alone at 3/1 for me here.