Let Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com get your week off to a flyer with Monday’s best bets
Total Recall landed the feature landed Ladbrokes Trophy for Willie Mullins at Newbury on Saturday and the winner entered the Gold Cup picture at 25/1 with BetVictor. It is worth noting, however, that the runner up Whisper was giving a stone to the winner, including a 4lb penalty for a recent Kempton win, and was cut from 25s to 16/1 for the Blue Riband event at BetVictor.
Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air was trimmed from 7/2 to 3/1 at BetVictor to retain his title at Cheltenham in March after a fluent win in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, whilst Mengli Khan was cut from 12s to 8s at BetVictor for the Supreme after an impressive win in the Fairyhouse gloom yesterday.
A good card at Plumpton this afternoon and I’m looking forward to seeing the reappearance of Gary Moore’s Knocknanuss (2.10) who must give 6lbs to his rivals having won over C&D on his British debut back in the spring. Connections have high hopes for the gelding who was formerly trained by the wonderful Mick Winters in Ireland where he won a point-to-point and Bumper.
The selection won’t have everything his own way, however, with Dan Skelton saddling Solomon Grey who has caught a couple of tartars in recent runs when finishing behind if The Caps Fits and Court Liability. Make no mistake these are two well above-average novices and this is a cracking contest for a Monday.
The mare Shaama Grise receives 12lbs on her chase debut for David Pipe from Optimus Prime (1.10) and it will be fascinating to see if the market speaks in her favour. That said she faces a difficult task against the selection who created a favourable impression when making all at Worcester on his chase debut for Dan Skelton.
Noel Fehily keeps the mount for owners Masterson Holdings and he will be tough to pass if in the same mood.
Culture De Sivola (1.40) has only been raised 5lbs for what was a good win stepped up to 3m for the first time at Chepstow on her reappearance and she can follow up with Jamie Moore taking over in the saddle from the injured Sam Twiston-Davies. Act Now is entitled to come on for her reappearance on desperate ground at Ffos Las and Marienstar will be tough to peg back around these tight turns, but the Nick Williams’ mare is open to further improvement at staying trips.
At Fakenham, Newberry New (1.30) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time for Harriet Bethell and the selection ran a terrific race at Bangor last time over fences. The horse is well treated on his best form over timber for Jessica Harrington and his new yard have been doing well in recent months.
The hurdling newcomers Ballinslea Bridge and Classic Ben (2.00) can fight out the finish of the 2m 4f Novice Hurdle and marginal preference is for the latter who represents the very shrewd yard of Stuart Edmunds. The selection finished runner up in a Sandown Bumper last time and may well have won a point-to-point if not for coming down two out when holding every chance.
Ballinslea Bridge is a point winner in his native Ireland and is another who finished runner up in a Bumper (Newcastle) on his last start – he should be winning his fair share of races over jumps.
In the juvenile hurdle, I am going to take a chance on the former Sir Mark Prescott stayer Oxford Blu (3.30) on his first start over timber for Olly Murphy with champion jockey Richard Johnson in the plate. The selection will get further in time and this tight circuit might seem a less than ideal starting point, but I expect Johnson to make plenty of use of his charge and he gets a narrow vote in what could be an above average contest for the track.
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