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Monday see's Rizzel head to a jumps meeting and an AW meeting, with a big price outsider in the opener.
Newton Abbot 3:50
In this five runner novice race, I'm willing to back the horse with the most chase experience, which is OLD HARRY ROCKS.
The Paul Nicholls runner, Whiskey Lullaby, will more than likely be popular for punters on Monday, but I think there's enough to side against this filly who is making her chase debut. She has experience over PTP fences, so you'd expect her to jump the fences with fluency, but at the prices, you're either in the know or you're taking a big chance on the fact she'll be ready on chase debut.
Old Harry Rocks has been ultra consistent in his last three starts. Sophie Leech's 9yo won over C&D in April, before going on to finish 2nd and 3rd in his next three races. The form of his 2nd at Southwell has been franked, with the winner Do It For Thy Sen winning again, and in clear cut fashion. Last time out, Old Harry Rocks tired late home and was pipped for 2nd on the line, but the winner was clearly well handicapped on chase debut, off a mark of 98, as he won easily and produced a rating of 119 from the Racing Post.
Though his recent form has come on quick ground, he has actually got some good form on soft ground, so if the forecast rain does arrive, he should be fine with those conditions. When he was trained by Harry Fry, he won a novice hurdle in good fashion, on soft ground. If the ground did turn soft, it could potentially be better as he is carrying a low weight in comparison to the others in the field, who are carrying between 11st 1lbs – 12st 2lbs. Paddy Brennan is an eye-catching jockey booking, as he's riding extremely well at the minute and rides this track better than most (27% SR in the last 5 years).
Though it can be risky tipping a horse in an apprentice race, I do think that AFFAIR is being overlooked in the market, at the current odds of 20/1 with PaddyPower.
This race is lacking pace, so it could be a good idea for Affair to make the running, which she has done before and has won from doing so. Drawn in Stall 2, I'd hope that Miss Sophie Smith would be able to get to the lead and dictate the race, especially as the horses around her are known to be hold up horses, so if she breaks on terms it should be easy enough to get to the lead. Obviously, with this being an apprentice race, it can be hard to know what you're going to get in terms of the tactical rides, but Sophie Smith has had 68 rides on the flat, and has had 7 wins, so she is clearly capable.
In terms of form, she has recently finished 3rd at this track to Abel Tasman which was a good run, and it has produced a decent bit of form with the 2nd winning a couple of times since. On that day, Robeam and Party Planner were in behind Affair, who she races against again today.
She is carrying bottom weight in this contest, which will be 9st 13lbs when you take the jockey's 3lb allowance into consideration. Off a mark of 48, she is on a winning mark, as she has previously won off 50, 52, 49 and 51 before.
Advised: Each Way