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Yesterday was yet another annoying day as the sole selection was once again a NR. Strange to see him being pulled out, which must've been for the ground. His stablemate went on to win the race, so I don't think Gordon Elliot would've been bothered.
Finger's crossed today's selection isn't a NR. My sole selection of the day comes in the second race at Ludlow in a decent little Class 3 handicap chase which has a few interesting runners, with JATILUWIH catching my eye the most. David Maxwell takes the ride, and he often gets a lot of flack on social media due to his riding style. He rides his own horses, which you can't fault, and his strike rate as a rider speaks for itself, so the hate he gets isn't necessary in my opinion. In the last five seasons he has been operating at a 25% SR from 181 rides, and this season he has made a decent start, getting 3 winners and 7 2nd's from 22 rides.
This horse is an interesting runner as he is starting to look dangerously rated on previous form from a few years ago. When Phillip Hobbs acquired this horse from France he went on a winning streak, winning his first five races, all over hurdles and then finished 2nd in a Class 2 hurdle behind a decent horse in Third Wind (Won a Grade 2 earlier this year) off a mark of 146. He then went on a bit of a hiatus where he went pointing with PTP trainer, Bethen Childs. He won his first PTP by 10L on soft ground, but then was pulled up on his second run. He was then moved back to Phillip Hobbs' yard and has made a couple of decent returns from pretty length absences. He finished 0.75L second in a Hunters Chase behind Wishing And Hoping, who has proven to be no mug, shown by winning a Class 2 race at Aintree in October, and is now rated 143. He then finished 4th at Ascot behind a few progressive sorts, and looked in need of the run. He has been dropped 5lbs for that run, which means he is back on a winning mark when he was over hurdles. The ground shouldn't be an issue for him as he's acted well on it when trained in France, and has won a PTP and hurdle races on soft before.
As for the opposition, I'm sure Demachine will be fancied on the back of what was a decent effort in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, but he'll be carrying top weight, and I think he could be slightly too high in the handicap. Quick Wave has to prove his fitness on the back of a layoff, but being from Venetia's yard, he should be fine, but the fact that Charlie Deutsch (stable jockey) goes to Taunton speaks volumes of his chances. Legends Gold would probably be my thoughts of the biggest danger. The form of the Bangor race is working out well.