Another informative day of racing ahead. Ascot hold their first jumps fixture of the season and there are a few ‘big guns’ making seasonal debuts. The ground there is Good to Firm in places. Such conditions are keeping a fair number of summer horses in action than may have been originally planned and not helping trainers who want to get a run into their winter stock on softer ground.
I am going to again concentrate on Wetherby today.
Wetherby 2.10 olbg.com Mares´ Hurdle (Listed Race)
A very tight contest and there is little to choose between 5 of the 6 remaining contestants after Degenerous was declared a non-runner.
Pass The Time has been chasing and may find conditions on the sharp side.
Stephanie Francis has also been over fences and her jockey is unable to claim her allowance in this higher grade of race.
On my tissue:
Card Game, Midnight Jazz, Miss Crick, Stephanie Francis 7/2 co favs
Pass The Time 7/1
Wetherby 2.45 bet365 Hurdle (Registered As The West Yorkshire Hurdle) (Grade 2
Again a very tight betting race. The current 6/4 market favourite is Ballyoptic who comes here in search of his fifth consecutive victory. He has the advantage of a recent run but makes little appeal at current odds.
If In Doubt, Native River and Silsol have all achieved a similar level of form and for me represent better value than that currently on offer.
If In Doubt 4/1
Native River 5/1
The Romford Pele 6/1
Whilst there will be plenty of attention paid to the likes of Saphir du Rheu and Cue Card this afternoon, it has got to be remembered that the ultimate target for the top class horses is the major festivals during March and April. Short term hype can often get in the way of a considered long term approach.