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Yesterdays selections ran with credit, but weren't good enough to land a win. Merry Mistress looked in need of the run, and will be one to check out next time out. Eyeofthescorpion would've gone close if he didn't landed in a funny way, which saw the jockey lose his irons, so the fact he finished 5 lengths back in fourth was a good effort.
I don't think this is a strong race, and with the forecast rain more than likely to change the going to something with ‘soft' in the description, I don't think it'll suit a lot of these horses. PATEEN looks to offer good value in a race where he will probably be overlooked.
Jessica Bedi is the trainer of Pateen, and she is by far the smallest trainer in this race, and that will show in the odds as punters will like to side with the more well known trainers, who have the more unexposed horses. Burrows Diamond, trained by Sue Smith, will be popular as he makes his chase debut, but carrying top weight of 11st 12lbs, and good ground has been one of the main factors to his two recent wins. You'll have to be a brave man/woman to back him on chase debut, especially at Hexham where the fences can be quite tough. Away At Dawn appears to me that he is still in the grips of the handicapper, as well as the fact he'd probably prefer good ground, which they shouldn't get. Authorizo is another who will be prominent in the market, but I don't rate his form, and is another horse who has been best to effect on quick ground.
Pateen is still a maiden over fences, but does have plenty of experience over the obstacles from when he was previously trained in Ireland by Patrick Kelly. Since moving to Jessica's yard, he has won twice over hurdles. The last two poor performances I can look past, as he bled on one occasion, and the most recent run was too bad to be true. Even though he is a maiden over fences, he has ran decent on a couple of occasions. His run at Galway where he finished 3rd was a career best over fences, which recorded an RPR of 113. The winner of that race improved 18lbs and is now rated 132, which goes to show that race was head and shoulders above today's opposition. Also, that ground was deemed to be ‘soft to heavy', so he clearly handles this ground better than others in this race. Another thing to note is the similarities of Galway and Hexham. Both tracks have that uphill climb before the finish, and it places emphasis on stamina. That race at Galway was over 2m 2f, and he had the stamina to last on testing ground, so the step back in trip could be a benefit, as he'll be sticking on when others are toiling.
He's much shorter than I'd hope for but it's hard to get away from the claims of the in form BAVINGTON BOB.
I think the selection might be a drifter, especially as Glinger Flame is a previous winner of this race and there is a couple coming into this race with good form or recent wins. Bavington Bob makes his seasonal reappearance in this race, and though this might seem a negative, I believe it will be not be a hindrance. Ann Hamilton has only had one runner so far this season, and he ran extremely well on the back of a break, so I'm expecting a similar thing today, as he comes off a similar layoff.
Sherriff Garrett is one of the main market fancies, but Bavington Bob safely put him in his place when they met in March, winning by 3.5 lengths. The weight difference that day was 1lb in the favour of Bavington Bob. Today, the weight difference between those two horses is 16lbs, which is why I find it very hard to envisage a switch in places with these two horses. Tom Midgley is back on board today, and he takes off a very handy 7lbs, which means he is racing off a bottom weight of 10st 4lbs, which is 9lbs clear of the nearest weight. I think it's quite noticeable that Tom is back on board today, as it is a sign that they fancy their chances, as if it was a run for fitness they wouldn't have bothered with a claimer, as the weight he carries wouldn't have made a difference to their targets in the future.
A small race, but a very good race with the small amount of runners we have. ANEMOI stands out to me the most and a price of 7/2 in a four runner race seems a little outrageous based on the fact he is still only 7yo, has his first run for a new trainer and has good form from his first chase start.
Kate & Andrew Brooks are one of the biggest owners in jumps racing in the UK and they've decided to remove all of their horses from Harry Whittington's yard. Whether that decision is right or wrong, that's up for discussion. This horse has been sent to Gary Moore's yard, and that is seen to be a big positive, especially in this race. This race offers a decent pot of 10k to the winner at this time of the jumps season, and it's one of Gary Moore's local tracks, so he clearly fancies his chances with his new recruit for this race.
His form of the Chepstow race he won on chase debut worked out very well. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th have all gone on and won since, with a good amount of them being higher in the ratings to this day. He went off the boil a bit after that race, and so did the form of the stable, which saw the owner's horses not running great, which definitely was one of the factors they got pulled from Harry Whittington's yard. Hopefully, a change in scenery would have done him the world of good.
This horse handles soft ground, and has ran well from a layoff before, so all things point to a big run on his stable debut. The only question mark is the step up in trip, which will have to be taken on trust, but at the odds offered I think it's worth a gamble.
12:00 Wincanton - Race: 1
12:10 Galway - Race: 1
12:25 Wexford - Race: 1