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Emailandy didn't put a foot wrong till the second last hurdle where he went through it rather than over it, he didn't lose all of his momentum but it definitely didn't help him in his battle with the eventual winner. I thought the second was much sloppier throughout the race, but one mistake can turn the tides and that was the case.
Ludlow 1:50 – Ithaca's Arrow 12/1 (0.5pt EW)
I do think Swift Hawk is the best horse in this race, based on the form and manner of his recent win, but with him carrying a penalty I think he is vulnerable and with Ithaca's Arrow getting 5lb off from his 11st from rider, Ben Ffrench Davis, he looks the bet in this race.
This horse made an encouraging debut over hurdles at Sandown on heavy ground in December where he probably should've won if he didn't clatter the final two hurdles. Despite not jumping the most accurately he went through the race like a horse who could definitely be winning hurdle races and adding a win to his sole win on the flat. The winner was an odds-on shot from the Jane Williams yard and had some okay form in the book prior to that race. The form of the Sandown race looks decent as the winner went on to win again. Royal Way (3rd) was 2nd to Sir Gino at Kempton and then won on his last start. Goblet Of Fire (4th) has also won since, so for what appeared to be a pretty standard race, has seen plenty of winners emerge.
Ithaca's Arrow wasn't at the races at Kempton for one reason or another, his jumping didn't help as he wasn't fluent over the first and that might've knocked his confidence. He's had a little break since then and I think the rain forecast at Ludlow which should make it close to heavy ground if the forecast is accurate, that should be good news for my fancy who clearly relished the conditions at Sandown.
Ludlow 3:20 – Ah Whisht 18/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill 4pl)
There's no doubt in my mind that Bonttay is the most talented mare in the lineup, but whether she'll be lining up if the ground gets very testing, I'm not so sure. Even if she lines up, I'm more than happy to take her on with Ah Whisht.
Tom Symonds' lightly raced 7yo mare has plenty of ability, and we didn't quite get to see that last time out on the back of a 9-month absence at Aintree, but she shaped well enough to suggest that run was heavily needed and it she'll be 100% for today's race. She was far too keen through the race and on testing ground that's a recipe for disaster. She jumped well for the whole race, but you could tell her fitness was an issue when turning for home she came under pressure and didn't find much for Ben Poste when asked. She wasn't well found in the market, which is another indicator she wasn't ready last time out.
However, if you watch her run at Ffos Las last year when she demolished the 30/100F you'd like to think that this horse is better than a handicap mark of 114. She then went against the boys whilst carrying a penalty and was only denied by a head to a horse who was given an opening mark of 125. Connections then decided to put her away for that season as she is a promising mare for the future and with Tom Symonds being in good form with 3 winners in the last fortnight, she is a great alternative to the Fergal horse.
Sedgefield 2:40 – You Say Nothing 7/2 (1pt, Bet365)
It's not been a great season for me when backing Christian Williams horses, as I've either picked the wrong horse in the race when he's sent two, or I've gone for the wrong horse at the same meeting, but with You Say Nothing, this is the sole runner of the day at Sedgefield for both Christian and jockey Jack Tudor.
You can say trainers always have just one runner at a track, but Christian is a trainer who should be one to keep on side of when he ventures outside of his usual courses and when his horse travels a fair distance it's very rare they'll come back emptyhanded and I think You Say Nothing can deliver the goods today. Christian has had 8 winners from 18 runners at this track and has had a further 4 in 2nd or 3rd. That strike rate is very impressive and shows that they don't like to waste their chances when sending their horses up to the North East.
This horse is already a course and distance winner off a much lower mark, but he has been in great form since that win, with two wins over fences. His return to racing this season has been encouraging where his first run was evidently needed (did fall as well), before going to Chepstow and was only beaten in the final strides as the heavy ground was probably a bit too much for him. That winner should've won again the other day if he didn't idle, so the form looks strong.
Ludlow - 1:50 pm
12/1 @ William Hill
Ludlow - 3:20 pm
18/1 @ William Hill
Sedgefield - 2:40 pm