This looks a competitive conditional jockey’s handicap hurdle but if there is one horse in here that is miles ahead of his handicap mark, it has got to be Garbanzo. A very useful flat performer, he had two starts over hurdles when trained by Ed Walker and on his second hurdles start he showed plenty of ability, finishing 4th beaten about nine lengths, with the three in front of him all rated at least 125 now. Garbanzo gets in here off a mark off 112 but it is through his flat form that he looks chucked in.
On switching to Dr Newland, he won at Kempton off a mark of 84 before running well when 5th in the Old Borough Cup off a mark of 90. He found the Cesarewitch too competitive on his next start but after a short break he had his third hurdles start at Newbury, where he was a bit disappointing but did shape like he needed the run. He now goes handicapping and it would be no surprise were he to rate much higher in this sphere before the year is out.
Effectively this is a match between If You Say Run and Annie Mc. They met earlier in the season, when Annie Mc won by four lengths but there is now a swing of 11 pounds in favour of If You Say Run. That suggests the form should be reversed but I think Annie Mc can uphold the form.
She was very impressive when winning last time at Wetherby, being value for further than the official winning distance. Her jumping is very good and with Jonjo O’Neill’s runners in excellent form (6 winners from last 17 runners) she can remain unbeaten over fences. An added bonus is that since Annie Mc is my best bet of the day, Paddy has given me the nod to let us boost the price.
This looks a very useful bumper with Diamond River, Lord Baddesley and Duc De Bourbon bringing very useful form to the table, but even though their form is very decent, it might be worth taking a chance on Hoi Polloi.
He cost €180,000 at the sales and is a half-brother to the useful Eye Of A Tiger, while his Dam won a bumper. His trainer unleashed two bumper winners in the past couple of weeks, with Red Rookie wining impressively at Exeter on his rules debut and Runswick Bay doing similar at Wincanton. Considering Emma Lavelle has only had three runners in bumpers this season and with two of them winning impressively, it suggests that positive market signals should not be ignored.