It’s not been easy finding mid-week races to preview, during February…
I don’t like to get involved with anything below class 3, because there is too much guess work required (and the races are far more susceptible to ‘plots’ !)
However, there has been very few class 3 races run this month (never mind anything better !) - so my mid-week output has been limited…
Things are a bit better today:
There are 4 meetings - and whilst opportunities are limited at Musselburgh and Clonmel, there are some interesting races at both Taunton and Ludlow…
There are a couple of official ‘eye catchers’ running in this, in the shape of Whoshotwho and Bastien.
Both caught the eye on their penultimate runs - before disappointing last time out (which generally isn’t the idea !).
In fairness, it’s relatively easy to forgive Bastien his most recent effort, as that was in soft ground at Lingfield.
His previous run at Huntingdon, behind Bags Groove, still reads as decent form - and he doesn’t look badly handicapped off a mark of 132.
It’s harder to forgive Whoshotwho his latest run.
He was already beaten when unseating at Ludlow - and there was no obvious reason for the poor effort (he was sent off a short priced fav).
He’s been given over a month to recover - so could bounce back today.
However, at the prices, I would rather be with Bastien…
Selection: Bastien at 11/2
I don’t like selecting favourites - and this isn’t a particularly weak race - however, I’ll be surprised if Colonial Dreams doesn’t win…
The form of his last time out second to Ballymoy in a class 1 race at Ascot, is of a different level to that of most of his rivals in todays race.
He’s been raised 3lb for the run - but I’ll be surprised if he can’t win from a mark of 132.
Interestingly, he’s Nico de Boinvilles only mount on the card - and he’s chosen to ride at Taunton rather than travel Ludlow, where Nicky Henderson has a couple of fancied runners.
Ignoring him, I would struggle to choose in the race, as a case could be made for most of the others.
However, I do think he could be different class - and even at 11/8, I’d be tempted to get involved…
Selection: Colonial Dreams at 11/8
Venetia has been in hot form recently and I think Uhlan Bute can provide her with another winner in this.
He was a little unlucky not to win a similar race over course and distance a week ago - and gets to run off the same mark this afternoon.
In theory, there is a chance he might not have recovered from last weeks exertions - but Venetia is a master at turning them out again quickly…
It’s possible to pick holes in the case of all of his rivals - whereas he looks very solid.
Unfortunately, he’s been backed in to 9/4 this morning (not helped by the fact that Andy Holding has tipped him) - but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see his price drift a little…
At around 3/1, he would represent a fair bet.
Selection: Uhlan Bute
I’m surprised that Mish Mash can be backed at 25/1 for this.
I guess her case isn’t water tight - and she’s facing some in-form rivals - but I still think she is worth a risk.
Certainly her handicap mark looks feasible - as she’s back on the same rating that she finished second from at Hereford in November.
Todays step up in trip is a slight concern - but Ludlow is a tight track and the relatively quick ground should ensure it’s not a major stamina test.
The main attraction however, is her trainer and Jockey…
Henry Daly tends to target his horses at Ludlow, so they are always worth looking out for.
The real eye catcher though, is the booking of crack 5lb claimer Jonjo O’Neil Jr.
Today is the first time he’s ridden for Daly - and Mish Mash is his only ride on the card.
That alone piques my interest - and encourages me to try and build a case for her !
If she’s going to run well, I would expect her to be backed - so you can either wait for market support and take a shorter price with more confidence: or back her now at 25/1 and keep your fingers crossed !!
Selection: Mish Mash at 25/1