Poole Handicap Hurdle Tips & Betting Preview

A competitive handicap hurdle with 32 initial declarations showing it’s popularity with trainers and owners. Our preview looks through the main contenders to pick our betting tips.

No one in racing seems to have a bad word to say about trainer Emma Lavelle and hopefully we will all feel the same after Fortunate George (9/1) takes his place in the line up here with the excellent Daryl Jacob in the saddle. Last time out the seven-year-old finished fourth to Kalondra at Ascot on his second run of the season but that will have put him spot on and he will be at his very best this afternoon. Already a course and distance inner there is nothing to scare him here though he does have to shoulder six pounds more than when he was last victorious.

The JP McManus owned Above Board (7/2) is clearly one of the most exciting horses in the race, with form figures of 121 from his three starts so far. Pulling well clear with Coeur Blimey – and giving him 3lb – he showed an impressive turn of foot to put the race to bed and has been given a very fair mark of 123 for this handicap debut. A half brother to Royal Caviar (placed in Grade 2 hurdles company) he has shown he copes with the trip and ground, but with powerful connections he may offer little value in the betting market.

Other in form options to consider have to be headed by the Roger Teal trained Agincourt Reef (12/1) who has won his last two starts at Ludlow and Wetherby, both over this trip. Up another five pounds for his last win he won’t find life quite as easy now having only got home by a short head last time, but he is just the sort to keep on pulling out a little bit more and should still run well.

Last season Clondaw Bisto (9/1) racked up a point to point and a maiden hurdle plus three places since, and he returns to action now off a handicap rating of just 115 which looks interesting with Sean Bowen booked to ride. Still a novice, the implication is that connections feel he is well handicapped (or he could have been sent for a much easier race), and he is another worth watching for future reference.

Trans Express (13/2) is another who won last time out, in his case by three quarters of a length at Exeter off a rating five pounds lower. He gets in off bottom weight this afternoon which may well help his cause but as things stand, others do appeal a lot more, especially the selection!

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