The feature race on Wednesday’s Worcester card is a Class 3 handicap hurdle over 2m7f. Read on for our experts’ betting tips and horse-by-horse race preview.
IN SUMMARY: It’s difficult to rule out any of the runners in what looks a very open handicap hurdle but there is some value in WESTERN CAPE, who found the EBF Final at Sandown too hot on his handicap debut in March but ran well twice over 2m5f at Ascot beforehand, causing a 33/1 surprise in a maiden in December before chasing home a highly regarded rival the following month. His pedigree suggests today’s step up in trip will unlock some improvement and he gets the nod. Dolores Delightful looks interesting after her excellent second at Ludlow in April but she might be better suited by right-handed tracks and could be one for next time. So Fine is fully exposed but, after some moderate runs over fences in the spring, will appreciate today’s return to hurdling and can be relied upon to stick to his task.
1 Nexius – Won a 2m3f novice chase in February but disappointed when reverting to hurdles in first-time blinkers (retained) in May; might have been revived by subsequent break and is unexposed over this sort of trip but has a bit more to prove than some of these.
2 Kelvingrove – Stayed on well to gain narrow-margin success at Market Rasen (2m7f, good) in May and is not yet fully exposed over hurdles but will need to find something extra to overcome today’s 5lb higher mark and was a bit disappointing on the Flat last month; cheekpieces refitted.
3 Hold Court – Has come from off the pace to win twice over C&D this season; looked in trouble before finishing strongly on the more recent occasion and, given the way that race panned out, it might be wise to treat the form with a degree of caution; another 5lb higher now and ran poorly over fences last time out.
4 Mont Choisy – Flopped when sent off favourite after long absence at Uttoxeter this month and has something to prove after that performance but was a dual course winner in 2015 (C&D maiden/2m4f handicap) and it’s quite possible he’ll get back on track quickly.
5 Dolores Delightful – Signed off with good performance in April, finishing clear second to a subsequent winner at Ludlow (3m, good to soft); will be in the thick of things if in similar form here but returns from break on new career-high mark and may prefer to race right-handed.
6 Shanroe Santos – Made excellent start to rules career in early 2015, winning a Ludlow maiden (2m5f, soft) and a Class 2 novice hurdle at Musselburgh (3m, good); subsequent defeat at the Cheltenham festival is readily excused but he was pulled up on handicap debut the following month and is entitled to benefit from this first run for 551 days.
7 Western Cape – Pulled up when making handicap debut in the EBF Final at Sandown in March but that is always a hot race and he ought to find this easier; created fairly good impression when causing 33/1 surprise in Ascot maiden (2m5f, soft) in December and it will be interesting to see how he fares on seasonal reappearance.
8 Herbert Park – Won twice in novice company in early 2015 (2m1f/3m) but failed to complete two of his three subsequent handicaps and finished only ninth of ten in the other one; in good hands and still has low mileage but it takes a leap of faith to support him after 265-day absence; blinkers removed.
9 So Fine – Wasn’t firing on all cylinders over fences in the spring but been given a break and will probably be happier now back over hurdles; not getting any younger but stays well and is currently 4lb lower than when third in a good-quality Pertempts qualifier at Huntingdon (3m1f, good to soft) in January.
10 Letbeso – Scored at Cartmel (2m6f, good) in June and also won a Southwell chase (3m, good) off today’s mark in August; well beaten over fences at Warwick last month but certainly not out of this if back on song.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/1 Dolores Delightful, 6/1 Kelvingrove, Mont Choisy, 7/1 Herbert Park, So Fine, 8/1 Nexius, Hold Court, Western Cape, 10/1 Letbeso, 12/1 Shanroe Santos