THIS has the prospect of being a great race. Traditionally referred to as the ‘boys race’ by some trainers this one gives the young team an opportunity to show what they can do. As well as looking for a good horse you are also looking for a capable young jockey who won’t let the big day atmosphere get to him.
Sean Bowen has ridden a few big Saturday winners for Paul Nicholls so he fits the bill on that front and although Le Mercurey carries top weight he still has a chance. The price is a bit short for me though given the strength in depth of the race.
Roi Des Francs represents Willie Mullins and is ridden by his nephew David Mullins. I’m not having him at very short prices although he has obvious claims. Instead, I have picked two out at each way value that I think have a strong chance. Totesport are paying FIVE places in this one so surely we can get one in the frame…
4.40 – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
– 2 miles 4 furlongs
– Only conditional jockeys can take part – apprentices etc
– Another competitive handicap
– Need to find a horse who has plenty of potential improvement and is ‘ahead of the handicapper’
Main Selection: Jolly’s Cracked It
Held in very high regard by his trainer and there were strong vibes before his last run at Newbury where he finished strongly to take 5th position. That run suggested that the extra half mile today will work in his favour and Harry Fry is a cracking trainer who will have him ready for this today. Michael Nolan is the young jockey on board and he is plenty capable enough of delivering Jolly at the right moment.
Each Way Selection: On Tour
Strongly fancied last time out but could only finish 8th of 23 runners in a very competitive top class handicap. That was over 2 miles though and his previous form suggests that this extra half mile is where he is best, having won three on the bounce before that. Another one who looks great value to me at a bigger price. No problems with Conor Ring the jockey either.
Jolly’s Cracked It – 2 points each way at 16-1 with Totesport
On Tour – 2 points each way at 16-1 with Totesport