The fitting of headgear has always been a well-known source of potential improvement. From the cheekpieces to the tongue-tie, these aids have very different effects on how a horse runs, including for the better! With cards at Leopardstown, Wetherby and Wolverhampton on Monday, I’ve looked through the races to find those with new headgear, that could bring their form to new heights! For our horse racing tips, check on site now!
Loves And Wishes (33/1)
It’s still early days for Love And Wishes, who started his career off with Jessie Harrington before transferring over to his current home back in November. He’s had just the two starts for the Watson yard, shaping well on his first run for over a year when fifth at Clonmel on chasing debut. He was unable to back that up at Gowran Park since, but that was a very useful race.
He now makes his return to handicap hurdles, beaten under two lengths off a seven-pound higher mark at Naas back in January 2018. This is much easier than the recent chasing starts he’s faced and he sports shiny new headgear today in the form of the tongue-tie/cheekpieces combination. That should help spruce him up and if it does, this rating surely won’t be a barrier to success.
In Your Shadow (17/2)
Running just six times under rules, In Your Shadow fell victim to Andy Dufresne in a bumper back in 2019. He’s had just the four runs over obstacles, quickly switched to fences after three fair runs over the smaller obstacles. He was making his chasing debut at Cork on his latest outing, where he was still disputing the lead at three-out before plowing the second last, where he lost all chance.
He’s more than likely to take a big step forward from that promising debut in this sphere and this isn’t a strong contest, with the favourite only rated 113 after four defeats over fences. He sports the tongue-tie for the first time here and if that has the desired effect, his current odds are likely to look very appealing.
Frankie Ballou (8/1)
Many will dismiss the chances of Frankie Ballou when they read that he is six pounds out of the handicap, but he shouldn’t be disregarded on that basis by any means. He’s been running well in defeat in recent starts, including when second to subsequent Sunday winner Roxyfet at Sedgefield last month. In fact, his last three runs have all been very solid, with the introduction of the cheekpieces aiding his cause.
His record in new headgear reads 0213, which is hugely encouraging, as the cheekpieces are replaced by the visor for today’s start. He currently sits fifteen pounds below his last winning rating and if spruced up by this new combination of aids, he’s got a massive chance of outrunning his bigger odds.