4.30pm Hereford Tips & Betting Preview 26/03/2017

IN SUMMARY: A poor quality Class 5 to finish the card at Hereford, and favourite Cafe Au Lait looks an excellent price given his recent form compared to the rest of the field. Only out the first three once in his last six starts, a repeat of any of his last three runs would likely be enough to take this and down in class he has every chance. Spirit Of Hale is worth watching in the market, while Highland Life could bounce back at a double digit price following a poor run in better company last time out.

1 Badbady Leroy Brown – Named after the 1973 song, this 5-year-old showed promise when winning a Point to Point last March but has struggled since then, well beaten in five starts under rules. This is his first step into handicap company but a mark of 99 is far from generous and he hasn’t shown enough to warrant backing. Worth a watching brief though.

2 Spirit Of Hale – Another making his handicap debut, he has been well beaten on all eight starts under rules so far. He remains at the same trip here and having been sent off at prices of 33/1 or bigger for every start so far, it’s difficult to judge his form. A mark of 97 may prove to be reasonable in the long term and market support would be interesting but far from certain to run well here.

3 Red Admirable – Now an eleven year old, this Graeme McPherson trained gelding has been rated as high as 120 over hurdles but runs off a mark of just 96 today following a run of poor form. He ran reasonably at big odds off a mark of 105 in December in similar conditions and will cope with both the trip and going, but has failed to win since 2015 and hasn’t shown much since then. Dropping back in trip should help and he’s been well supported the last twice, but up against the consistent favourite he looks poor value.

4 Highland Life – One of the least exposed horses in the field, he won in January on his second handicap start in similar conditions to today, but was raised 12 pounds before struggling at Huntingdon just 11 days ago. David Noonan rides again, claiming a useful three pounds, and the Soft ground will suit. Second and third have run well since and, dropped one pound and down in class, he could run well at an Each Way price here.

5 Rocky Elsom – One of two Sophie Leech horses, and apparently the second string according to the market despite the booking of Aidan Coleman. Had been rated 106 before an 18 month break, and has struggled on all three starts since, including when last of three on the flat at Lingfield. His last start over hurdles was at Ludlow in similar conditions and he weakened badly before being pulled up before three out. Didn’t show enough that day to suggest he retains his ability of old.

6 Cafe Au Lait – The second Sophie Leech horse, and Paddy Brennan is booked to ride – he boasts a 21% strike rate this season for a £134 profit to £1 level stakes. He boasts the best form in the field, with form figures of 224123 for his last six starts, and he was well supported over two miles on his last start in a Class 4 event. He runs off the same mark here today against a far weaker field and his recent form makes him the one to beat at a very reasonable price.

7 It’s Oscar – Trainer Alastair Ralph has had just 22 runners over hurdles in the last five seasons, but boasts two winners for a +£10 level stakes profit. He has trained this ten-year-old gelding for his last five starts, which include being pulled up twice and being beaten double figure distances in his other three. His last start earlier this month suggested this trip was a better suit, but he jumped poorly when tired and unlikely a two pound lower mark will make enough of a difference despite winning off 85 last July at 20/1.

8 Actiondancer – Showed initial profit to receive a mark of 99 in November but has struggled badly since and handicapper has dropped him twenty pounds in just four handicap starts. His jumping continues to struggle, with constant mistakes through his last race and two shuddering errors at Doncaster on his penultimate start. This is his first start over further than two miles and the slower pace may help, but impossible to back with confidence until jumping improves.

9 Eddy – Trainer John Panvert is still seeking his first win this season despite 24 attempts, while Eddy looks to break his maiden tag at the 20th attempt of his career. Rated 103 following an eleven length fourth at Wincanton, his mark has been steadily lowered in the following two years to just 76, with just two second places for consolation. A repeat of the latter of those – beaten a neck over this trip on Good ground – would probably be enough to win this weak contest. However, he is yet to finish in the top three on going worse than Good and the ground looks against him today.

Please Gamble Responsibly.

Please Gamble Responsibly