2.15pm Market Rasen Tips & Betting Preview 26/09/2015

Race Time2.15pm MeetingMarket Rasen Day: Saturday 26th September Distance: 2m 148yds
Full Race Name Racing FX Prelude Hurdle Handicap Class 1 (Listed Race) Class One

We are quite aware that some of you prefer the flat, and some don’t care either way, but plenty of you will be eagerly anticipating the new National Hunt season and two races on a decent Market Rasen card will no doubt delight you, as we await the winter game to burst in to life. As is often the case at this time of year, we need to try and balance the better form of those horses not seen in anger since last spring or so with those who aren’t as good but have a fitness edge via a recent race, but that isn’t easy and we suggest a mix and match approach – for now at least. Nigel Twiston-Davies is a trainer we know and like, and he may well let course and distance winner Goodbye Dancer (16/1) make his return here. Already the winner of four races, three over hurdles and one on the flat in his native France, he is just the sort to do even better this season, but we cannot fail to be concerned by an absence of 364 days since he was beaten in to fourth here last September, though with the stable in good heart, all things are possible.

Meanwhile, Stuart Edmunds will have got as much work in to Cloonacool (14/1) as he can at home before he returns to the fray after a “mere” 231 days off since the six year old was fifth in a novice handicap hurdle at Newbury last February. Somehow he has been put up two pounds for being well beaten that day (twelve lengths behind winner Qewy with no obvious excuses), though the better going expected here may play more to his strengths, and we do expect him to win a decent handicap or two this coming season, though maybe not this afternoon? Sadly, two with long absences is enough for us, and we need to look at those with proven fitness and none stand out at present more than Gran Maestro (11/2) who represents the Grand National winning yard of Dr Richard Newland. His last run was a win over course and distance here back in July on Good ground when he battled past Hammersly Lake for a brave neck success at the line, but he has had a pipe opener on the flat at Haydock since and we are willing to suggest that this is very much his early season target.

Others to consider are certainly plentiful, with Manhattan Swing (11/2) arriving at the top of his game after a recent comfortable win over course and distance. He did finish behind Gran Maestro two races ago here and is now four ponds worse off but that was his first outing over hurdles since last October though he has been kept busy on the flat so fitness cannot be used as any kind of an excuse. He is decent sort and we do like him, mainly because of the brilliant stewardship of trainer Brian Ellison, but he does seem to have it all to do at the weights this time but seems certain to run a big race regardless. Lastly, Swansea Mile (11/2) could be pretty interesting as the ex Irish gelding makes his British debut for new trainer Dan Skelton with Harry Skelton expected to ride. Six bumper runs without success and a further two defeats over hurdles were hardly an impressive start but something suddenly clicked and he won two in a row at Bellewstown and then Killarney in novice hurdles, where the Ruby Walsh factor may well have helped.  Bought for £30,000 at the sales, it will be interesting to see if his new surroundings and training regime can bring further improvement, though it may equally be a case of his first run as part of the learning curve as they work out how to bring the best out of him.

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