Wincanton This Weekend – Part 2


Posted on 10th November 2017

Dear Friend,

Here's Dave again with Part 2 of his analysis at Wincanton this weekend!

Here goes...

Wincanton This Weekend - Part 2

Good morning all,

It's Newbury for me today, a good card and I'll have a full report on it for you all tomorrow. For today, my preview of Wincanton continues with a look at the Badger Ales Handicap Chase, one of the first big handicaps of the winter season.

Incredibly, two of my five to follow go at Newbury today – details of those too.

Badger Ales Handicap Chase

It will be interesting to see who lines up for this, as at the moment there’s plenty of pace on, and I mean plenty. Creevytennant, Fletchers Flyer, Henllan Harri, Gentleman Jon to name just four, and I can see plenty of others that will want to press the pace too. Could be a race where there’s no hiding place.

As with the Elite Hurdle, the same trainer is responsible for the top two in the betting. In this case, it’s Paul Nicholls rather than Nicky Henderson, but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see both take their chances here.

Present Man heads the betting at a general 7-1. You don’t have to look too far to find some positives – likes a right handed track, sound jumper as a rule, probably has a bit more to offer – but equally, there’s easy to find negatives as well – wins tend to come in small fields, and he wouldn’t want too much rain either. As likely as this is an early season target for him, I think there’s better value elsewhere.

Southfield Theatre would have gone very close to winning this last year. Still just in front when falling at the last, he was only seen once more after than and as such, comes here only 3lb higher than last year. But this is starting to look a lot more competitive than last year’s race, even at this stage, and as unlucky as he was last year, he hasn’t won one since 2015 now.

Bally Longford too hasn’t won one for a while but you could at least give the excuse that he’s only been with Colin Tizzard for four runs, and does seem to have found some form since being upped in trip. The big worry, as it always is with him, is that he’ll belt a couple of fences and that will ultimately cost him a shot at victory, but he won't mind any rain and a clear round would probably take him close.

I don’t know what to make of Fletcher’s Flyer, who looked like he had the world at his feet as a novice hurdler but despite some good efforts over fences there’s only the one victory to show for them. However, he goes fine fresh, this trip rather than further is ideal and the nagging suspicion is that there’s a big pot in him somewhere. It could be this, and with the yard’s horses in decent nick, he must be on the shortlist.

Last season’s Bet365 winner Henllan Harri warmed up for this with a run at Worcester over hurdles, where he looked like he would come on for a run, so to finish a close third was a very solid effort. He’s still only 4lb higher than that Sandown win and ticks plenty of boxes here – not ground dependant, has won right-handed, no issue with a big field – and the yard are among the winners this week. He’s not got that “sexy” profile that maybe a few here have, but he’s looks pretty solid to me, and the 12-1 is fair on what he’s achieved. The worry is that he could face competition up front, so you can’t have a bet ante-post, and the shape of the race Saturday will be what’s important to his chance.

Nicholls’ third runner, Mr Mix, is an interesting one too. He proved his versatility, tactics-wise, by coming from off the pace to win here at Wincanton (over slightly further) last time out, turning in a big speed figure in the process. That was on good ground though, and although he’s effective on soft, it does seem his best performances come on a decent surface. So if it doesn’t get too deep, as a “forgotten” third string, he could represent a bit of value on the day.

Of the rest, most are well exposed handicappers with nothing much up their sleeves. There’s a blindingly obvious case for Southfield Royale on that handicap mark but that’s been the case for a while and he’s not been able to take advantage. I’d want to see more from Venetia Williams in the next few days before I went near Yala Enki or Vic De Touzaine, and plenty of the others look outclassed. Much as with the Elite then, probably no great value at present as the shape of the race could well change drastically come declarations time, and best holding fire until then.

I hope you found that useful :-)

Information courtesy of the Daily Punt.

Keep a look out for our next informative + money-making email soon!

Kind Regards :-)


The UK Horse Racing Experts