8.20pm Stratford Tips & Betting Preview 04/07/2017

An interesting contest beckons for the penultimate race of the day at Stratford on Tuesday evening. See our betting tips and full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Braqueur D’Or ran well on chasing debut for Paul Nicholls and warrants respect, but the five timer beckons for Maurice Barnes’s NO SUCH NUMBER. He has improved 37lb in the ratings and he took a field apart from the front when winning at Uttoxeter on his latest start. Three pound claimer Dale Irving retains the ride and this longer trip looks certain to eke out further improvement from this progressive nine-year-old. Of the remainder, Ballypoint remains frustrating but there is a strong suspicion that he can do better at some stage.

1 ALWAYS ARCHIE – Easily won a course and distance hunter chase back in April and he subsequently backed that up with a good second at Cheltenham, although his latest start left something to be desired. He jumped poorly throughout and was a modest second in the end, beaten around 37 lengths and more is needed for Tim Vaughan. Conditions will suit and Alan Johns takes the ride, but his jumping has to be of concern.

2 NO SUCH NUMBER – Arrives on a five timer for Maurice Barnes, making all to win a handicap at Uttoxeter on his latest start under today’s rider Dale Irving. As a result, he is up a further five pounds, but he is clearly in great heart at present and he looked value for money on that latest start at Uttoxeter. Conditions are perfect for him and this step up in trip should help to see further improvement from him, so he should make it a fantastic five today.

3 BRAQUEUR D’OR – Six-year-old for Paul Nicholls who ran well over hurdles at Warwick in May before a promising chasing debut at Newton Abbot later that month. He jumped right at times but kept on strongly towards the finish to go down only by a neck. As a result, he is up seven pounds in the handicap, but there is much more to come in this sphere for him and Sam Twiston-Davies retains the ride. Has to be respected as a main danger.

4 DOITFORJOE – Three fair efforts over fences thus far for David Dennis’s seven-year-old, keeping on well enough to finish third at Southwell when last seen. He is subsequently down a pound in the handicap and, judging by the best of his hurdling form, there is surely more to come from him in this sphere with time. If jumping soundly under Aidan Coleman with conditions to suit he is more than likely to hit the frame, with his yard performing well of late.

5 BALLYPOINT – Becoming a frustrating horse to follow, winning back in March 2016 and although he is well handicapped on that basis, he has failed to get his head back in front. His chasing mark is eleven pounds lower than his mark over timber, with perhaps the trip on all three occasions over fences not suiting him. Needs something to click if he’s to be returning to winning ways and he would want the ground softer to show his best. Others make more appeal.

6 ETHELWYN – Rated 108 over hurdles and he has been disappointing in two runs over the larger obstacles for Malcolm Jefferson. He was 16 lengths behind No Such Number at Uttoxeter in June and there is no reason why he should be reversing that form under Brian Hughes, with him only getting a six pound pull. Should fall short here.

7 OPECHEE – Soundly out of form the last twice for the in form David Bridgwater, last seen in January where he was a well beaten seventh at Doncaster, never involved at any stage after early mistakes. Hard to make a case for him on that basis as his jumping has been suspect and the fact that he is a ten race maiden just compounds the case to avoid him.

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