4.15pm Perth Tips & Betting Preview 18/05/2017

This is a Class 3 handicap hurdle over two miles, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is a tricky little handicap but CAIUS MARCIUS can come out on top for the Nicky Richards stable. He was simply outclassed on his last start and he’s dropped in grade here off one pound lower and this C&D winner can take advantage today. Raise A Spark would be his greatest threat although there are slight ground concerns regarding him here with his best form in softer conditions.

1 CALL THE COPS – Without a win since March 2015 when he won the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s regressed quite badly since the 2014/5 season and he was transferred to the Ben Haslam stable late last year. He’s been beaten 73, 46, 29 and 34 lengths respectively on his last four starts and he’s clearly lost his way. He’s dropped in trip today which doesn’t look positive and he’s impossible to fancy on recent form.

2 RAISE A SPARK – Finished 4 lengths behind some smart enough sorts at Aintree in early April to finish fourth of a nineteen strong field. He’s kept over two miles today which looks positive and the handicapper has been kind to him by leaving him on this mark which gives him a good chance now dropped in grade. The ground is a slight concern having produced his best in softer conditions but Donald McCain has a 17% strike rate here and he’s got a fair chance in this.

3 CAIUS MARCIUS – Wasn’t disgraced in a Class 2 handicap last month at Haydock when beaten 8 3/4 lengths. He travelled well that day and was simply outclassed so he’ll be far more at home in this slightly easier grade with a one pound drop in the weights. The trip and ground look ideal for this C&D winner and he’s another that must enter calculations off just 5lbs higher than his last winning mark.

4 DEEPSAND – One win in five starts since transferring to the Grand National winning yard of Lucinda Russell. He’s been nudged down the weights following a heavy defeat at Ayr last month and that came in a weaker grade than this which is obviously off-putting. He was sent off favourite that day and he could attract support again in this but his trainer has a poor 8% strike rate here and is without a winner from her last 9 runners.

5 VERONA OPERA – Beaten by a runaway winner last time out over C&D. She couldn’t match the pace of the winner that day nor on her second to last start and she looks to have been found out by the Good ground, having looked far better in softer conditions. The ground is a concern again today and she’s vulnerable to a couple here although the 7lb claim of Alexander Thorne does help her and she’s arguably got something to work with at the weights. Interesting.

6 WEAPON OF CHOICE – Posted a good second placed effort earlier this month on Good ground at Kelso. He arrives here before he is reassessed and he’s clearly on a workable mark in this grade and in similar conditions. Lorcan Murtagh claims 7lbs again today which certainly helps and he’s possibly the best handicapped runner in the field so he’s likely to be popular in the betting for a stable that have sent out a winner from their last four runners. Respected.

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