We had three days of exciting racing at Cheltenham last weekend and there might have been one or two clues for the Festival next March although a lot can happen in jump racing in a week never mind months.
As I have documented before the national hunt racing cards are of high quality most weekends but the rest of the weeks cards are mostly less than average. Thank goodness for the all weather tracks Newcastle and Wolverhampton on the tapeta, Lingfield, Kempton and Chelmsford on poly track and don’t forget Southwell on its deep fibresand.
I actually prefer the artificial surfaces to turf as far as betting is concerned as the form seems to be more consistent. Also you don’t have to worry about the state of the ground too much although unlike turf when it rains you usually find the surface tightens up and rides faster.
Today is a typical example with the best card on Kemptons poly track which includes some well contested 2 year old races, good handicaps and a mile listed event for some classy individuals.
I will play Howie’s Hottie in the listed race at 6.40 on the Ed Walker trained Stormy Antarctic who will have Jamie Spencer in the saddle. The horse is the highest rated and although he carries a small penalty for a win in France he normally races in higher grade and if Jamie finds the gaps he will be hard to beat.
Belle DE Lawers trainer J.Bethell – I didn’t think the horse stayed 2 miles and a drop in trip might help.
Gatillo trainer Julia Feilden – Stayed on after a slowish start at Southwell and can improve especially on that surface.
Poker School trainer I Williams – Didn’t jump with any fluency but was only beaten in a photo. If he brushes up his jumping he will be hard to beat.
Starchitect trainer D.Pipe – Finished 2nd in the big handicap chase at Cheltenham and would have won but for two mistakes at the last two fences.
LePrezien trainer P.Nicholls – Ran in the same race as the above and might be worth a try over shorter as just ran out of petrol up the Cheltenham hill on the other hand it might have been the heavy ground.