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Sunday was an okay day with Trelawne making a nice chasing debut as well as Wasdell Dundalk getting our money back from being second. The Fergal O'Brien bumper horse was smashed in the betting but the Jonjo O'Neill horse won with ease in the end with our selection back in second.
Hereford 1:50 – Baltray 11/10 (2pt)
There are no great odds about for Baltray but based on what he's shown and the little the others have shown he looks like a tough nut to crack if repeating his run on hurdles debut last time out.
He ran to an RPR of 111 on hurdles debut at Fontwell on similar ground to what he'll be on today and that is head and shoulders clear of what any other horse has produced in this race. He ran well that day, his jumping at the last two hurdles wasn't fantastic but it's all experience and it would've done him the world of good to get that under his belt. The winner looks decent and will be able to win in handicaps in the future.
Baltray showed battling qualities that day as well. He was travelling well turning for home, but got in close to two out and that gave a few lengths to the winner but he continued to show grit and kept plugging away, which is always nice to see.
There are many in this who are making their hurdles debut but their bumper form is hardly inspiring. Obviously, with a Nicholls runner in the lineup, it's hard to get too carried away as he has the money to buy some very expensive horses like Divilskin who was bought for 245,000gns which seems ridiculous on what he's shown in bumpers and hurdle races to date. He's clearly got a fair few problems, he had a wind-op at the back end of last year and he stopped suddenly on seasonal reappearance, so he'll have to show a fair bit more to beat my selection.
Hereford 2:50 – Puffin Bay 4/1 (1pt)
Harry Derham has made a very good start to his training career which isn't a surprise considering he was the number two to Paul Nicholls for a fair few years and I think his Puffin Bay is still on a decent enough handicap to strike again.
We saw it on Saturday that Harry can ready one up after a break as he did with Sir Psycho, so the 215-day absence isn't as much as a concern as it might've been if he was trained by others. This horse beat a decent mare in Lady Adare back in April at Wincanton and that was on the back of a 257-day break, which is another strong example of him being able to ready his horses. This horse cruised through that race off a 5lb lower mark than today and stayed on nicely to beat a horse who was rated 127 and has since finished 3rd over hurdles and won on chase debut in a Class 3. Good ground seems key to this horse, so the weather forecast is in his favour unless Hereford gets plenty of rain which isn't to be expected.
Bonttay was a good bumper horse and has turned into an okay hurdler but I wouldn't say she's progressed as well as others might have thought. She has won a couple of races in this sphere, but I wouldn't say she's beaten much and for her to carry 12 stone is a big ask against my selection, in my opinion.
Hereford 3:20 – Pimlico Point 13/2 (0.5pt EW)
I'm giving a chance to Pimlico Point on chase debut for the inform Kerry Lee stable.
This horse has the best novice hurdles form in this race and if he can replicate that on chase debut then he should be too good for these. Obviously, he'll have to prove he can jump a fence but he was 1/1 at a PTP horse when winning by 3L and recording a decent RPR of 92 for that performance. As a result of that PTP win he was bought by Kerry Lee for £160,000 and when you compare that to most of the horses in her stable, that is a big sum of money for a yard the size of Kerry's.
He showed glimpses of that ability when winning a novice hurdle at Chepstow when beating Autonomous Cloud and Super Survivor. Both of those horses are now rated 130 in the chase world, so the handicap mark of Pimlico Point of 118 looks tasty enough to get involved in this race as he does look well handicapped based on that. I wouldn't read too much into his last start as he made a respiratory noise and has had a wind surgery since.
Kerry has been in great form since the turn of the new season in April and is continuing to bang in winners, even ones on seasonal reappearance so the 13/2 or 6/1 is well worth it.
Plumpton 2:37 – Western General 9/2 (1pt)
My head was torn whether to go with Western General or the very well-handicapped Burrows Park, so hopefully I've made the right choice going for the former.
I've had my fingers burnt a lot in previous weeks when siding with well handicapped older horses so despite Burrows Park being a ridiculously dangerous mark I decided to go for the progressive horse in Western General. My selection is only a 5yo so has plenty of improvement left in him and he gets in this race off a decent handicap mark of 115, as well as carrying a low weight of 10st 7lbs.
He won nicely last time out at Newton Abbott when beating an improver from the Milton Harris yard who had previously shown very little, but he shrugged him off and recorded a win and an RPR of 119. Obviously, this race is much tougher than that race but I thought he showed a great attitude and some nice jumps, and now he goes up in trip it should suit him even more. He was behind Captain Teague in his sole PTP race and we all know how good that horse is and will be in the future, so even that form looks strong.
It looks like Sean Bowen has picked up a spare ride, which doesn't normally bode well when the usual jockeys from a yard isn't riding, but Sean is leading the jockey's championship at the moment so it's hardly a bad booking and it reminds me of when Richard Johnson used to get spare/unusual rides, he used to capitalise on that opportunity.
Hereford - 1:50 pm
11/10 @ Bet365
Hereford - 2:50 pm
4/1 @ Bet365
Hereford - 3:20 pm
13/2 @ Bet365
- 2:37 pm