Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com marks your card for Wednesday’s racing
I shall be at Cheltenham for their first meeting of the year this weekend and in the opening extended three-mile handicap chase on Saturday the first three home from the corresponding race last year are likely to again face the starter.
Nicky Henderson’s Laurium and last year’s runner up Singlefarmpayment head the market at 8/1 with BetVictor with the 2017 winner Cogry one of five horses priced at 10/1. BetVictor’s early mover has been for the novice For Good Measure (10s from 12s) representing the powerful connections of owner JP McManus and trainer Philip Hobbs.
Seven of the eight races at Newmarket this afternoon are for two-year-olds and the form of Rainbow Heart’s (1.30) third over C&D on debut has been boosted by the win of the runner up Desirous at Kempton on Monday. It might be worth noting that the selection is still entered for the listed Radley Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Ginistrelli showed promise on debut, but I thought there would be plenty more to come from James Park Woods (4.55) at Doncaster on debut in a 7f maiden on good to soft. That form is working out extremely well and Ralph Beckett’s colt did hold a Group 1 engagement until the five-day stage.
Overland Flyer (3.00) jumped right on debut and out to his left at Wincanton last time but there is no question that this dual winning pointer, who is rated 135 over hurdles, looks potentially well handicapped from a 9lbs lower mark at Worcester. Paul Nicholls has his string in very good form and his chaser may have most to fear from the chasing debutant top-weight Gunfleet representing Emma Lavelle.
I must give Truckers Lodge (4.10) another chance in the £30,000 Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final. The mare Dory is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and looks well treated at the foot of the weights, but the selection finished fourth here last month at a time when the Nicholls stable were quiet, and the hope is that run was a “sighter” for this valuable prize this afternoon.
This extended three-mile trip stretches the stamina of Hardtorock (4.35) but he is in good form at present, having scored over 2m 6f here at Fontwell from a 6lbs lower mark last month. The selection is 6lbs higher today, but he is the only one in the field with good recent form to his name and he gets the vote in a race that may not take much winning.
At Newcastle this evening Duneflower (5.45) can go one better than when second at HQ over this trip earlier in the month. It is well documented that trainer John Gosden likes to have runners and winners at Gosforth Park and I would be disappointed if this well-bred Dubawi filly did not go very close.
Gosden also saddles Panmolle (8.45) in the mile novice event and this filly was very well backed at Lingfield on debut when runner up to a subsequent winner who is now rated 89. It is important for breeding purposes that this beautifully bred filly gets a win next to her name.
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