Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com with Wednesday’s horse racing selections
The draw – as ever – will have a major influence in the results of the all-weather championship races on Friday including Diagnostic in the Fillies’ and Mares’ 7f for William Haggas.
The filly won three times on polytrack for William Haggas at Chelmsford last autumn and looked ready for a return to seven furlongs when third at Kempton back in January. The Haggas yard did us a favour in the Lincoln on Saturday and I will be disappointed if the grey – 5/1 at BetVIctor – is not there or thereabouts especially if there is a decent gallop to chase.
No chance of the ground drying out at Wincanton for today’s card with further rain forecast. I am convinced Litterale Ci (3.05) was not at her best when she disappointed at Cheltenham last time on heavy ground. The selection had previously won at Ludlow under today’s talented amateur jockey from a 5lbs lower mark. The Harry Fry stable are in good form of late and the selection looks sure to go close back against her own sex.
Invicta Lake (4.15) has not been the luckiest horse in training of late and would have given the gambled-on Abracadabra Sivola plenty to think about had he not blundered five out at Kempton last time. He can race from the same mark this afternoon and has swerved other alternative engagements this week to line up at Wincanton.
Unioniste finished mid-division in the Cheltenham Foxhunters earlier this month but that was a hard race on bad ground and Carraig Mor (4.45) was always a personal favourite when trained by Alan King and he can take advantage of the 8lbs he receives from the likely favourite.
The selection fell at Exeter on his last start under rules last February when he was returning from a long lay-off but he did a point for Chris Barber earlier in the month and the hope is that he can build on that run.
I remember thinking when the horse won a Grade 2 Novice Chase at Newbury back in November 2014 he could go to the very top over fences although he always has a tendency to jump out to his right. This track should suit and his amateur pilot was in the plate when he scored between the flags recently.
Cloudy Glen did most things wrong at Warwick last time – too keen and jumped poorly – but finished runner up and certainly has the ability to win races. He must go close but preference is for Blu Cavalier (5.15) who reverts to the minimum trip for Paul Nicholls having been campaigned over further of late. The gelding is lightly-raced for an 8-y-old and might come into his own on better ground over further, but connections have found a race that won’t take much winning.
Tossapenny (2.10) has finished runner up in his last three starts including his two hurdle races – both by a short head. The gelding has been off the course since the end of January and, as a son of Presenting, is likely to appreciate better ground but this winning pointer can take this before turning his attentions to fences.
The Novices’ Handicap Chase is a tricky puzzle to solve given all eight runners finished in the first three last time including Ceann Sibheal (3.15) and Red Infantry with marginal preference for the former.
The selection finished third at Towcester last time when over 20 lengths behind Oneida Tribe – reopposes today – but he jumped violently out to the left at all of his fences and I was staggered that the Warren Greatrex-trained 9-y-old was still in contention coming to two out. The horse had previously won off an 11lbs lower mark at Uttoxeter in his first-time blinkers and Harry Dowling is reunited this afternoon.
Red Infantry lost nothing in defeat at Catterick last time off today’s mark and he has improved in a visor in recent starts.
Tom Lacey has his string in cracking form and Alberto’s Dream (4.25) can make it four out of four since joining the yard despite being 13lbs higher than when scoring at Huntingdon last time when he gave the impression he would be suited by a return to a left-hand track.
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