3.00pm Wincanton Tips & Betting Preview 14/10/2016

Only five runners have been declared for the 2m4f Class 3 handicap chase on Friday’s WIncanton card but cases can be made for each of them. Read on for our full race preview and experts’ betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Present Man has made a promising start to his chasing career and, with today’s drop back in trip expected to suit, there’s a very good chance he can run a big race from the front. However, his form is nothing to be wildly excited about and, if he wasn’t trained by Paul Nicholls, he may not be favourite. At the prices, the suggestion is THEATRE MILL, who travelled well before asserting at Southwell last month, should also be suited by this track and is still quite well handicapped on some of his Irish form. I’m In Charge needs to prove he can cope with a 14lb rise for his wide-margin success here in May but he loves fast ground and confirmed his wellbeing with a good performance over hurdles recently. Last year’s winner Gentleman Jon has the ability to mount a bold defence of his crown but is inconsistent. Closest Friend has run fairly well in his first three chases but there are some reservations about him.

1 Gentleman Jon – Beat three rivals to win this race on fast ground a year ago and was also in very good form when scoring by 7l at Newton Abbot (2m5f, good) in May; however, consistency is not his strong suit and it’s not easy to predict whether he’ll be on song after a 119-day break.

2 Present Man – Yet to add to his bumper win nearly two years ago but not had a huge amount of racing since then and has finished second in both chases, more recently here (3m1f, good to firm) in May; jumps well and can make a bold bid to dominate this from the front.

3 Closest Friend – Not beaten far when reaching the frame in three 2m novice chases this season and moves into a handicap on a workable mark if suited by today’s step up in trip; however, his record is not entirely convincing and his 1-15 strike-rate is very modest for a horse of his ability.

4 I’m In Charge – Very well suited by fast ground and displayed a significant jolt of improvement when a wide-margin course winner (3m1f, good to firm) in May; predictably been hiked up the weights for that but returned from a break with a comfortable success over hurdles (2m5f, good to firm) just eight days ago and can’t be opposed with any confidence.

5 Theatre Mill – Not an instant success for his new stable this year but was placed a couple of times during the summer and hit the target in a five-runner contest at Southwell (2m4f, good) last month; looked in good nick that day and will be fine on this right-handed track.

myracing Forecast Prices: 9/4 Present Man, 3/1 Closest Friend, 4/1 Gentleman Jon, 9/2 I’m In Charge, 11/2 Theatre Mill

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