Huntingdon 1.00 Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle - 2 miles 3 and 1/3 furlongs Good to Soft (drying) 15 run
The more I looked at this race the more i really like the look of a few at big Odds and although it's very competitive I kept coming back to 3 or 4 who are decent each way prices.
Let's start at the head of the market though and the clear favourite and the one they all have to beat is Phillip Hobbs horse Alberic. It's been runner up here and at Hereford on recent runs, is well in on terms of future handicap marks and clearly a massive danger, if you want a win saver and 2/1 floats your boat that's your discretion, I'll seek more value each way.
Ace Time has won its last 2 races at 2 miles off marks of 74 and 81 and runs here off 89, veteran Trainer has a very small NH string now and always feared but no real value for me. Ballycorr has shown glimmers of form and makes its Handicap debut for Henry Oliver and may well have untapped potential as may Smoking Pigeon for Fergal O'Brien although that one may be better suited to further and a tougher Course but a danger for sure.
Of those with more proven Handicap form, equally big dangers abound in Above Suspicion who is back hurdling for Tom George and still has scope and time to fulfill long term potential and Adherence who makes a seasonal and TRainer debut for Dai Burchill and one off a very nice mark who I think can win races once fully tuned up off that kind of mark.
There are 4 though that most interest me the most and it's very difficult to pick between them. So, I'll try to explain the logic of the final choice.
SHANROE TIC TEC is a very big price and makes second appearance for Grace Harris, it has Course and Distance placed form off marks of 102 and 104 for Ben Pauling and having been given time to acclimatise and with the excellent Connor Ring in the saddle should really be very competitive off a mark of 93. At the price I can't not have an investment.
METHAG is another Course and Distance winner off a mark of 94, has won elsewhere off a mark of 104. it's OK on Good to Soft and any drying of the ground will only boost its chances as will the fact that this is the first race on the Card on theoretically the best ground of the day. Its very well handicapped off a mark of 99 and glimmers of running into form recently.
ENLIGHTEN for the Easterby's who do very well with a small string of NH Hurdlers and especially in Conditional Races, seems to like easy tracks and has an obvious chance off this handicap mark. KARAKORUM won last time out at Taunton off a mark of 83, runs off 85 here, another for Grace Harris with Joe Anderson claiming 5lbs.
It's one of those where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't but I do think of the Harris runners that SHANROE TIC TEC is just too well handicapped to ignore and that of the other pair the Course form of METHAG is strong too.
I'll have a Tracker bet on SHANROE TIC TEC and METHAG and leave shrapnel bets on the other pair to your discretion.
TRACKERS - Shanroe Tic Tec / Methag