A David Pipe-trained handicap debutant has been made a short-priced favourite for this 2m handicap hurdle but our betting tips focus on a better-value alternative. Read on for our horse-by-horse race preview.
IN SUMMARY: It’s easy to understand why punters will be keen to latch on to Tobacco Road, who was quite useful on the Flat a few years ago and ran by far his best hurdle run for David Pipe when third at Bangor six weeks ago. He might well to turn out to be well handicapped off an opening mark of 97 but he’s certainly not a natural at this game and his tendency to take a keen hold is a concern on this stiff track. A safer option is ANGUS GLENS, who looked in excellent nick when scoring at Warwick on his recent stable debut and doesn’t look badly treated under a penalty. Peruvien Bleu has been placed in all three of his handicaps and can given another good account here, but he’s 5lb higher than when last in action and needs to improve to win.
1 Angus Glens – Capitalised on some help from the handicapper when gaining a convincing win on stable debut at Warwick (2m, good) on Friday; remains on a workable mark under a 7lb penalty and, given he stays further, there’s every chance the stiff track here will show him in a good light; respected.
2 Horseguardsparade – Failed to build on promise shown in 2m4f novice events when comfortably held over 3m2f on handicap debut in September; remains unexposed over hurdles and it’s possible today’s much shorter trip will show him in a better light, but he’s not straightforward and others are more persuasive.
3 Tajseer – Came good over hurdles for Gordon Elliott in a Kilbeggan maiden (2m3f, good) in September and was claimed for £5,000 by current owner after finishing second in a small-field Stratford seller last month; put in a fairly good front-running shift before finishing seventh on handicap debut at Ascot recently but was comfortably held in the end and might still be too high in the weights.
4 Peruvien Bleu – Third over 2m1f at Newton Abbot in all three handicap hurdles; form of his penultimate run has worked out very well but he’s now 5lb higher than when last seen in July and will probably need today’s much stiffer track to unlock some improvement.
5 Irish Hawke – Displayed significant improvement to make winning handicap hurdle debut at Bangor (2m, good) in August; has a point to prove after a lesser effort back there the following month (reportedly ran flat) but further progress possible if he can get back on track.
6 Tobacco Road – Formerly quite useful on the Flat; soundly beaten on first three starts over hurdles but his third at Bangor (2m, good) in September was a big step in the right direction; needs to learn to settle and improve his jumping but is in good hands and dangerous to ignore on handicap debut.
7 Londonia – May have been aided by a first-time tongue-tie when gaining breakthrough win over hurdles, at Ffos Las (2m, good) in June, and was placed on two of his next three starts over hurdles; steps up from Class 5 company today, though, and was disappointing on the Flat recently.
myracing Forecast Prices: 13/8 Tobacco Road, 9/2 Angus Glens, 5/1 Peruvien Bleu, 6/1 Irish Hawke, 8/1 Horseguardsparade, Londonia, 14/1 Tajseer