November Handicap Tips & Betting Preview

A complicated mile and a half handicap as always and with just the one winning favourite in the last ten years it ought to come with a wealth warning for us punters. Last year it was won by the Joseph Tuite trained Litigant (16/1) who raced off a mark of 106 and is due back to defend his title in 2016 off four pounds higher. Admittedly he hasn’t been in the same form since with just the two races this season with a sixth in the Long Distance Cup (Group Two) on Champions Day and a ninth at Saint Cloud in the Prix Royal Oak (Group One) last time out, and dropped to handicap class again, he must have a very decent chance of placing at least this afternoon.

Talking of each way options and have come down on the side of Montaly (22/1 Each Way) this afternoon who clearly looks overpriced on what he has achieved. Trainer Andrew Balding continues to be in among the winners and is showing a very healthy level stakes profit over the past fortnight and will keep his horses going if he feels they have more in them. A son of the legendary Yeats, our selection is bred to stay even further than this mile and a half and has placed twice recently over a mile and three quarters and two and a quarter miles so the fast early pace over this trip should play right in to his hands.

As we write John Gosden’s Cape Cova (7/1) sits at the head of the betting as he looks to become the first three-year-old to win this race since 2007. He has won three of his last four races over this mile and a half three times and even further last time out here over a mile and three quarters plus and he is reunited with Tom Queally again here even if he has been put up nine pounds for his last victory.

Wrangler (7/1) sits next in the betting for Newmarket trainer William Haggas and understandably so as he does look as if he may well have been aimed at this contest all season. Off for over two years between August 2014 and October this year he may well have needed both runs so far with a tenth at Windsor and a third over course and distance last time off a mark of 87. Left on the same rating now he ought to be cherry ripe this afternoon and may well be a lot better than his current rating suggests.

Fabricate (16/1) looks to have a solid looking chance to us for trainer Michael Bell who has already booked Adam Kirby to ride which we see as a positive move. He was won three of his nine races now including last time out at Leicester over this trip when he saw off Passover by a short head all out off a mark of 97 and out up four pounds for that he won’t find this as simple and may be weighted out of things unless he can improve further of course.

As we all know by now it can be folly to ignore any Godolphin runner and although Prize Money (12/1) is not one of the stable stars he has been well backed in the early markets with word coming out of Newmarket that he has been working well of late. Lightly raced with just the six starts he has room to continue to improve with maturity and was only beaten a reasonable two and a half lengths in fifth last time in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and even a repeat of that run could well be good enough to win this off his current rating.

Mark Johnston’s Soldier In Action (14/1) is another well backed entry and after winning at Goodwood by six lengths last time out we can understand why. Put up eleven pounds for that his chances have obviously diminished accordingly and his new rating of 105 seems plenty high enough in our view but then again he is only a three-year-old and may have room for further improvement.

Interestingly, Holly Doyle has been booked by Alan King to ride William Hunter (22/1) and her five pound claim helps to increase the chances of the four-year-old who has already win three races this season at Windsor, Brighton, and Ascot. Up to a rating of 87 now having started off of 70  he does look as if he has a lot on his plate but his jockey’s claim brings him down to 82 now, a mark he won off of last time out.

Sticking with the better claiming jockeys and Josephine Gordon has been snapped up by Hugo Palmer to ride Qassem (16/1) who is lightly raced and has recently moved to Newmarket from Andre Fabre in France. One win and four places in five starts catches the eye even if some of the form is a little hard to gauge with no collateral form lines but if we can’t work him out accurately neither can the handicappers, and he may well have got in lightly this afternoon for his British debut.

To round things off we have always like Eve Johnson Houghton and What About Carlo (18/1) has a small squeak with Tom Queally booked to ride. He won last time out at Newbury over a mile and a quarter driven out but is up five pounds for that and has never won over a mile and a half, so his followers will be taking a bigger risk than necessary this afternoon.

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