4.15pm Perth Tips & Betting Preview 04/06/2017

A first prize of almost £19,000 to the winner here, an excellent contest for a Sunday card. This is a very competitive handicap run over three miles, read on for our expert tip and guide to the contest.

IN SUMMARY: Some in form types here but the majority of them are rather exposed and on career high marks like Beeves and Upswing. Lord Ballim would have a chance if his jumping holds up in deeper company as he does appear to still be improving. The vote though, is going to the Nicky Richards trained, LOOKING WELL who is very lightly raced for his age and his form when second to Ziga Boy in the Skybet Chase reads well at this level, especially at a double figure price.

1 VOLNAY DE THAIX – Formerly a very smart hurdler, he has looked anything but a natural in six chase starts. He has got his head in front in one of them but that was just a three runner novice at Doncaster. He showed a rare sparkle in April 2016 when runner up to Junction Fourteen at Sandown but he is still two pounds higher in the weights and is yet to show his best form beyond two and a half miles.

2 BEEVES – Very brave from the front here last time, taken on early for the lead, he finally shook them off, before holding off the late challenge from the re-opposing Cultram Abbey. He needed plenty of pushing along on that occasion but given his finishing position against those who took him on for the lead, he can be marked up for the effort. This is a career high mark in a better race but he shouldn’t be disregarded if able to get into a rhythm on the front end.

3 UPSWING – Finally ended a barren spell, winning back to back starts at Ffos Las and Cheltenham in April. Being fitted with cheek pieces has made the difference to his attitude with decent Spring ground a plus according to trainer Jonjo O’Neill, “The good ground is the key to Upswing as he struggles a bit when it’s too soft. He is a good old jumper and we will be keeping him going.” He is another with a career high mark to contend with and this track is more of a speed test which also raises concerns.

4 CULTRAM ABBEY – Outbattled by Beeves last time, a two pound pull at the weights should theoretically allow him to turn the tables. He is on a mark thirteen pounds above his last win however and with all three of his victories coming with an awful lot more cut in the ground than he is going to get here, he may just struggle to land a blow.

5 BALLYKAN – Fourth behind Beeves and Cultram Abbey over this course and distance last time out. He briefly looked like throwing down a challenge but not for the first time, this three mile trip taxed his stamina late on. He is the weekend charity bet for our exclusive columnist, Nigel Twiston-Davies but even he didn’t exactly seem to give him too big a shout “might sneak into a place, though I can’t be too confident.” He is a winner at this track as well as off a mark just one pound below this for those looking for positives.

6 RIGHTDOWNTHEMIDDLE – Runner up in a three mile chase on Grand National Day, by far his best effort in his five starts since joining Gordon Elliott. He is five pounds lower in the weights now as although he was second, he was thirteen lengths adrift of the winner. He is a difficult horse to win with, a record of just 3/48, with all of those wins on much softer ground. Elliott’s runners must always get respect here, especially with Richard Johnson booked but, he does appear to have a little to find and is priced up on connections rather than his form.

7 LOOKING WELL – Very lightly raced for one of his age, a winner of four of his thirteen starts. Disappointing in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster when last seen, he had previously run a very smart second in the Skybet Chase to Ziga Boy. Has won fresh in the past, so the 92 day break since his last run shouldn’t be a problem with quick ground also suiting Nicky Richards horse well. Given his unexposed nature in a race predominantly full of older rivals who are plenty high enough in the weights, he looks a leading contender.

8 YES TOM – Ground looks lively enough for the veteran who has done the majority of his winning on soft and heavy ground. He was pulled up on his only previous visit to Perth, in this contest two years ago. He finds himself on a thirteen pound lower mark now but he is difficult to be confident about, on his first outing since last July.

9 VALADOM – Arrives on his most recent winning mark – scoring in a three mile chase at Bangor last November – but he boasts just a single decent effort since and that was over hurdles. This ground won’t be a problem but he needs to rediscover his best again as on his 2017 form so far, he is opposable. This is his trainer’s only runner at the meeting though, a long return trip from Gloucestershire so any market support would certainly be interesting to note.

10 ROC D’APSIS – Not the hardiest of battlers in the past, he got his head back in front at Kempton last time. He has run respectably both times he has taken in this venue and a four pound rise for that Kempton win isn’t harsh. He won off a two pound lower mark in January 2016 so an each way chance could certainly be argued for him but he isn’t the most reliable and certainly no good thing to back the win up with another smart effort.

11 LORD BALLIM – A winner of his last four completed chase starts, only blotting his copybook when unseating his jockey here two starts ago. He looked to still be progressing at a fair rate when scoring over this course and distance when last we saw him, with a seven pound rise unlikely to stop a sound bid to follow up. He has fallen twice and unseated in just eight starts over fences so his jumping is a slight concern, especially up in grade where they are going to be going a stride quicker.

12 AERLITE SURPEME – Got his head in front for the first time since November 2014 when scoring at Warwick last time. Three miles has looked to stretch him in the past and he is tough to support back up five pounds in the handicap in a far deeper contest than that Warwick race was.

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