Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Wednesday December 19th

It’s been a few weeks since there has been any decent mid week racing - but there is some tomorrow…

They race at Newbury and Ludlow - and in years gone by, the former track would almost certainly have provided the main fixture - but not nowadays…

Ludlow has been punching above its weight for a few seasons now - and it’s the same again tomorrow, where its card is superior to the Newbury one.

In fairness, there are some interesting novice races at Newbury - as you would expect for a track located close to the main NH training centres - but if its competitive races you are after (and generally, I am !) - then the focus has to be on Ludlow.

The potential big issue for the day, is rain…
They’ve had quite a bit at both tracks - and I’m sure they’ll get more. Consequently, it’s difficult to know how the ground will ride.
I’m guessing it’ll be on the the soft side - but it is guesswork.
If you do get involved, then you should try and establish the state of the ground - and ensure it is suitable for whatever you are supporting… (I’ll try to provide updates in the forum for main service subscribers).



This Class 2 event is the most valuable of the day - and has drawn a decent field.
Capeland is favourite, on the back of his good run last week, at Taunton.
He’s 5lb ‘well in’ for tomorrows contest - and provided he’s not feeling the effects of his recent run, he is the one to beat.
That said, I can resist 11/4 in a tight looking 11 runner handicap…
Robinshill is quite interesting: as he has good course form; isn’t badly handicapped - and should handle the ground (whatever it is !).
However, at tonigths prices, the best bet in the race, is Un Prophet…
He’s not the most consistent (few of Venetias are !) - but he has form which suggests he could go close: has won over course and distance - and is potentially well handicapped.
The form of Venetias stable is also a positive.
3 falls in his last 6 runs, is a worry - but the Ludlow fences are amongst the easiest in the country.
His defeat of Keeping Moving at Exeter, last season, stands up to close scrutiny - as does his second to Champagne at Midnight.
He’s certainly not guaranteed to run his race - but if he does, then he could just about win - and as a consequence, is worth a risk at 12/1.

Selection: Un Prophet at 12/1


The state of the ground is likely to have a big bearing on this race…
If it’s good, then Spiders Bite should be the one to beat.
He was taken out of an engagement at Carlisle on Sunday, on account of soft ground - so it will be interesting to see whether he’s allowed to participate tomorrow, if there has been a lot of rain.
I personally think he will be fine on soft - and connections may possibly let him take his chance, as it’s their local course.
In that scenario, I wouldn’t surprise me to see his price drift massively - which would be tempting !
However, for the purposes of this preview, I will assume he will be taken out on account of soft ground (quite an assumption, I know - but such is life, if you preview the night before !).
In his absence, Fox Appeal is the one that interests me most.
He won this race a couple of seasons back - and from a pound higher mark.
In truth he’s probably in slight decline now - though he shaped well enough on his seasonal debut at Taunton and holds Beau de Brizais on that run.
That said, this is quite a trappy looking race (even ignoring the state of the ground): as I could make half cases for a few:
Tenor Nivernais could be very interesting - particularly on soft ground; whilst I think that Silverhow still has potential - though I’m not sure he will be fulfilling it tomorrow !
Opening Batsman and Holly Bush Henry are two more who could possibly run well.
In summary then, not a race to be going mad with - with Fox Appeal the token selection.

Selection: Fox Appeal at 15/2  (Spiders Bite, if he runs !)


I’d be quite a bit sweeter on Honest Vic in this - and he strikes me as the bet of the day…
Certainly, his fifth place in a much better race than this at Cheltenham in April, gives him a very good chance: as does his sixth place at Market Rasen, the following month.
The form of his season debut run at Chepstow, doesn’t read quite as well - but it was a relatively strong race and he was quite well fancied,
It was also over the bare 2 mile trip - and I’m pretty sure he will benefit from stepping back up to 2m5f tomorrow…
Henry Daly loves to get a winner at Ludlow - and Alice Stevens is a very interesting jockey booking.
In short, Honest Vic has ticks in plenty of boxes - and tonights 7/1 is a good price.
I would ordinarily, just go with him - however, Burrows Park for Venetia, looks potentially dangerous, on his second run back after a long absence.
In the circumstances, I would suggest saving stakes on him…

Selection: Honest Vic at 7/1



This is the most interesting race on the card - but not an easy one to call…
Most of the runners can be given a chance - and if I were to get involved, I’d be inclined to take a chance on a couple of the outsiders…
Vodka all the Way has his second run over fences, having unseated on his chase debut at Chepstow, 11 days ago.
He was weak in the betting that day - but has Dickie on board tomorrow, which I suspect will result in more interest !
He’s not an easy one to assess, based on form - but I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t ultimately prove better than his current rating of 125.
His price tonight is 14/1 - and he would be worth a small risk at those odds.
Vieux Lille is a similar price - and again, that holds some appeal.
He will be having his first outing for Jamie Snowden - having transferred from the stable of Philip Hobbs.
He finished second to Yala Enki in the 2016 Tommy Whittle chase at Haydock - and runs tomorrow from a mark 10lb lower.
That means he is potentially well handicapped - if his new connections have him primed.
I suspect the market will advise on expectations with him…

Selection: Vodka all the Way at 14/1 & Vieux Lille at 14/1

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