Only two finished at Hereford earlier and of my 1-2-3 for the race, they finished 1-NR-2, so a good day there. Our 10/3 winner was 61 lengths clear at the finish and although he was hit by a 25p Rule 4 deduction, that was still far better than the eventual 10/11 SP.
Thursday's free feature is access to Instant Expert for ALL races, including our 'races of the day' which are...
- 2.07 Chepstow
- 4.15 Ludlow
- 4.25 Sedgefield
- 5.05 Cork
And a couple have caught my eye on Instant Expert, so let's take a look at them, starting with Robinshill, who runs in the 2.45 Ludlow, a 6-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ handicap hurdle over 2m on good to soft ground and here's his racecard entry...
Team Twiston-Davies had this 10 yr old bang on when he returned from a 10 month break back in October and he rattled off a 32-day hat-trick with wins over both hurdles and fences at trips of 2m to 2m1f. He wasn't quite at this best when beaten by 15 lengths in the unsuitable mud over this course and distance last time out when looking a bit rusty after three months rest. Having had that run, I'd expect him to go better here and he won't have heavy ground to contend with this time and he's down a pound in the weights.
His Instant Expert figures are great with a whole line of green. He has a 10 from 39 career record, including 6 wins from 15 going left handed and 5 from 21 in a tongue tie. Sam Twiston-Davies has ridden him to victory twice and he's a former course and distance winner.
Horses who lead do well here at Ludlow and as you'll now see, Robinshill is a confirmed front runner...
...and the lack of any other pace in this race suggests he could well set off quickly, open up a soft win and not get caught. I'm fairly sure that'll be the plan anyway!
And then just 7 minutes after that race, Whoshotthesheriff runs in the 2.52 Sedgefield, a five-runner, Class 4, Novices Chase over 2m3.5f on good ground and here's how he looks on the card...
He has finished 21431 in his five starts over fences to date, all since coming back form a 22-day absence back in mid-October last year. Last seen winning a similar contest to this one (same class, trip, jockey) by 15 lengths at Catterick three weeks ago, he's sure to be popular on the basis of that run. Chuck in some good recent numbers from his yard (12 from 59 over the last 30 days improving to 6 from 23 in the last fortnight) and we might well have an odd-on jolly on our hands, but I hope not.
As you can see, he really has done well at Class 4 including that win LTO and as well as that chase form I mentioned earlier, he was also decent over hurdles, winning three of nine and showing some decent ground speed. Mind you, his "father" Dylan Thomas was no slouch on the Flat and has a near 19% strike rate with 5f sprinter offspring!
The ground is good here, but a bit of rain would help more than hinder, as he's two form four on good to soft, whilst he's 5 from 12 with Sean Quinlan in the plate and 2 from 4 running in March, so conditions look ideal.
Pace-wise, you want to be upfront or very close to the action in races like this, but there doesn't seem to be a natural leader amongst the small field...
...however, I've looked back at his career wins and his best runs have come when either leading or tracking the leader and trainer Philp Kirby's not behind the door when it comes to tactics. He'll know there's little pace in the contest and that his horse can win from a more advanced position and I suspect he'll ne nearer the front than the back throughout.
Two seemingly well-suited runners, two small fields, one over hurdles, one over fences, but can they win?
Simply, yes, I think they can and more importantly I think they will! I think Robinshill has more on his rivals than Whoshotthesheriff has, but I suspect the latter will be odds on and I'll find him difficult to back if so, as I don't quite see him as a 50/50 shot. So, I'd better look at the market...
Hmmm, interestingly Robinshill is available at 5/1, so that could be very good value unless I've hopelessly misread the situation, whilst Whoshotthesheriff is currently (5.10pm) a 6/5 shot. I think I might well back both and a small double to boot!