2.50pm Taunton Tips & Betting Preview 20/12/2016

Seven horses’ go to post for the feature race at Taunton racecourse on Tuesday worth £10,128. It is a 0-130 Class 3 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles. Read on for a full runner by runner guide and tip for the contest.

IN SUMMARY: Hint Of Mint will have plenty of supporters considering the form the Harry Fry team are in at present but REGULATION is the clear value in the race dropping back down into 0-130 company for the first time in a while. The champion jockey Richard Johnson is booked for the ride which has to be a huge positive and the last time the horse ran in this company he hacked up by 10 lengths. Ascendant would be a massive player if there was a bit of cut in the ground but the ground is currently good.

1 Regulation – First time back into 0-130 company since he hacked up by 10 lengths at Wincanton in October 2015. The Neil King trained gelding has failed to get his head in front since but he went close off this mark (130) at Uttoxeter in June when 2nd to the talented Mountainside. Richard Johnson has been booked for the ride and he must have a massive chance dropping back into this sort of company if all is well after his recent tame effort in a 0-140 at Wetherby. The hood also goes back on.

2 Hint Of Mint – The Harry Fry team are in terrific form of late and this gelding has to be at the head of the market judged on his latest start when 2nd to Winning Spark here at Taunton. He travelled so well in the hands of Niall Madden on that occasion but just got caught on the run in so the drop back in trip by a couple of furlongs will be massively in his favour. Noel Fehily is also back in the saddle to aid his cause.

3 Royal Irish Hussar – Six year old gelding trained by Nicky Henderson and really well bred by the mighty Galileo. He is a very frustrating sort and has not got his head in front since 2013 so clearly has had his issues. Well beat by Poker School in this sort of company at Sandown last month and he will have to improve to take a hand.

4 Ascendant – Course and distance winner back in 2014 and generally runs a solid race here but he is a soft/heavy ground horse so the forecast good conditions won’t be to his liking. Beat a short head by the Shark Hanlon trained Baby Jake at Huntingdon last time out which was a very solid run but he’d appreciate a drop of rain.

5 Man Of Plenty – Last success was at Sedgefield in a four runner affair in 2014 and he had his injury issues after that which saw him spend about 18 months off the track. Solid 2nd at Southwell over three miles in July but was tailed off on the flat at Kempton last month. Looks a risky betting proposition.

6 Borak – One of two runners for Bernard Llewellyn in the race. He is just a four year old so might lack a bit of experience against some race-hardened rivals. He is rated 107 and has slid down the weights after a few poor runs but there are more negatives than positives. Has a bit to find to trouble the market leaders.

7 Global Thrill – Another trained by Bernard Llewellyn who has no real chance based on his most recent form, well beat in a 0-110 at Fontwell last time out.  Cheekpieces remain on and seven pound claimer Jordan Williams takes over in the saddle but he hasn’t shown enough the past twelve months to suggest he can land a race of this nature.

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