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Haydock was abandoned yesterday morning so the original two selections for Wednesday were NRs. I stuck up a replacement bet from Ludlow who ran a nice race, but was just edged out by the winner. It's annoying really because I put him up when the 7lb claimer was meant to be riding, but with Haydock off they put Sam Twiston-Davies back on board. Obviously, Sam is a much better jockey, but in the end, the 7lbs could've resulted in a win.
Market Rasen 11:55 – Lady Gwen 9/4 (2pt, PaddyPower)
Conditional Jockeys' races are not my favourite type of races, but the way that Lady Gwen has been racing the last two times, I think she has a great chance of landing the hattrick off a 6lb higher mark, which is effectively 5lb as the jockey, Kai Lenihan claims an extra pound today than he did last time.
I do think the form of the last race is strong for the grade as the runner-up is on a very low handicap mark compared to a season or two ago, and I actually put him up as a selection a month or so ago because of his dropping rating. The runner-up did bounce back to form at Market Rasen, and the front two pulled miles clear of the rest, which is always a good sign. I thought Lady Gwen had a bit more left in the tank than the winning distance would suggest as she jumped the second last too high, which isn't ideal, but it showed how much she had left in the tank. She got in a bit close to the last hurdle and that's probably why the winning margin was only a length, but I think she had a bit to spare.
Today's race poses new questions as the ground will be more testing, but her pedigree suggests she'll be fine on it, being related to many soft-ground winners, including Moonlighter and Le Cameleon.
Market Rasen 3:25 – Diamond Koda 7/4 (1pt)
I'm going to try and book end the Market Rasen card, with hopefully winners in the first and last race. This bumper doesn't look amazing and I think the standout form comes from Nick Kent's Diamond Koda.
This horse has finished as runner-up on both of his bumper runs to date. The form looks strong on both occasions, with the first behind Choccabloc who has since recorded RPRs of 119 and 121 over hurdles from his two runs, which looks very solid form for novice hurdle races at this time of year. Diamond Koda then had a break and raced at Sandown where he was relatively weak in the market, almost signalling that he might've needed the run. He was looking like the winner until wandering around a bit in the final half furlong, and outstayed by the Nicholls odds-on shot, which was a horse bought for 185,000 Euros. Diamond Koda was travelling all over the field that day and when you consider the horse who was back in fourth by 10L was 3rd/15 in a Class 2 bumper at Cheltenham just a couple weeks before, shows the level of the form.
Brian Hughes makes the trip to Market Rasen for one ride, which comes in the final race of the day, which bodes well.
Market Rasen - 11:55 am
9/4 @ PaddyPower
Market Rasen - 3:25 pm