BetVictor’s Jack Milner takes a look at Monday’s cards
The flat season came back with a bang at the weekend, with Oh This Is Us saving the bookmakers a fortune in Saturday’s Lincoln at Doncaster. Ryan Moore rode the first three winners of the new turf season, all well-backed on the show too, completing a 575/1 treble with Tupi in the Spring Mile. That saw Oh This Is Us backed into 7/2 favourite for the straight mile on Town Moor, only for the four-timer to be narrowly denied by former Ballydoyle inmate Bravery for Danny Tudhope and David O’Meara.
The winner got up in a photo on the far side to save the industry millions and, after Moore’s other ride was withdrawn in the closing maiden, multiple backers were narrowly denied a monstrous coup on the opening day of the new flat season. Losses at BetVictor towers would have been seven figures had Danny Tudhope not been brave on the far side, but that he was and us bookmakers live to fight another day!
Turf action is all jumping this afternoon with three excellent meetings spread across the country at Kelso, Huntingdon and Ludlow, with Richard Johnson opting to ride at the latter and likely to score aboard Atirelargio (2.00) for boss Philip Hobbs in the opening 2m 5f Novices’ Hurdle. The selection left a favourable impression when scoring last time out at Uttoxeter on Midlands’ National Day and will relish this afternoon’s sounder surface.
First-time head-gear should see Capard King (2.30) improve for the in-form yard of Jonjo O’Neill. He was far from disgraced when finishing third last time out on ground softer than ideal and gets a handy 7lb from the trainer’s son, Jonjo Junior, who is good value for his claim.
Jonjo should likewise go close with course and distance winner I’dliketheoption (3.30) in the feature £20,000 2m Handicap Chase. The selection looked a potentially smart animal for connections when scoring at the track in November and has struggled in his subsequent two starts over two and a half miles. He reverts back to the minimum trip under the excellent Aidan Coleman and is a confident selection to claim a second C&D success.
Next Sensation is a fascinating runner up at Kelso for the £16,000 2m Handicap Chase and is potentially very well treated from a revised mark of 134. Providing the ground isn’t too soft then he must go close for brothers Tom and Michael Scudamore however, marginal preference lies with Nicky Richards’ Chidswell (3.40) under Craig Nichol. The gelding arrives on the back of chase successes on soft ground over two and a half miles at Sedgefield and Ayr but isn’t short of speed and should complete the hat-trick dropping back in trip.
Should the Scudamore boys miss out with Next Sensation then they should gave compensation in the very next race with Grace Tara (4.10) in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. The 8yo loves it when the mud if flying, making a winning reappearance after an absence of two years in bottomless ground at Lingfield earlier in the season. She bounced on her next start but has been the model of consistency thereafter, and appears well-placed by connections to gain a second hurdles success.
Likewise with Monbeg Aquadude (4.40) who has been a slow burner for over timber but came good at the fourth time of asking at Fakenham and must go close in his bid to follow-up now sent handicapping from an opening mark of 122. A point-to-point winner in his native Ireland, he should make a nice chaser for connections next season.
Wade Harper (3.20) narrowly failed to take advantage of a falling mark when bumping into one last time out at Uttoxeter however, remains handicapped to run well in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase under Noel Fehily. The selection has been waiting for his preferred sounder surface and can go one better from a 3lb lower mark.
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