ARCADIAN NIGHTS might be a bit of value here after showing a little potential on debut at Haydock when staying on late to finish fourth. He is related to a host of winners, like Jallot & Rawdaa who both were rated about 110 at their peak, and while there is a slight question mark with regards the suitability of the ground, many of his siblings handled easy ground.
On debut at Haydock he was very slowly away and didn’t really know what was required of him but he did run on at the finish to be beaten eight lengths with the 90-rated (and admittedly a bit disappointing at this stage) Significantly third – to give some context to the form.
Fighter Pilot is likely to be favourite on the back of being a well-beaten third by the useful Fivethousandtoone and Blackrod (who has won since) but I’m not sure he deserves to be as short as he is in the market. With Arcadian Nights likely to be a double-figure price, that is big enough to take a chance that he will be effective on soft ground.
THATSY was a useful novice hurdler last season and wasn’t disgraced when finishing seventh in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham off a mark of 139. He is a point winner who could easily improve for the switch to chasing and with Gordon Elliott starting to bang in the winners, I’d expect Thatsy to be pretty straight here despite Pekans Rock having chase experience and a fitness edge over Thatsy. Pekans Rock probably doesn’t possess the same ability as him, while Ilikedwayurthinkin might well need this first run since the Cheltenham festival and is one to keep a close eye on when he steps back into handicap company.
Nigel Tinkler is a trainer that I really rate highly and when he gets an unexposed one off the mark in handicaps, it can sometimes be worth following them in the short term at the very least. CMON CMON caught the eye on his first two handicap starts earlier this season off a mark of 60 but after two disappointing efforts he bounced back to form when getting off the mark after the handicapper had dropped him to a mark of 53. He only got a 3lb rise for that win but the form looks very solid for the grade with the second just being touched off on his next start and the third and fourth finishing first and second in a course handicap on their next start. While Cmon Cmon only won by three quarters of a length, I think he was value for a bit further and I’d be surprised he can’t win again off a mark of 56.
This is a really competitive seven-furlong handicap and I’m on the verge of following MISTER SNOWDEN off the edge of a cliff but I really do believe he is capable of winning a handicap off a mark of 93. An easy winner, with a fast sectional, on debut on his only previous all-weather start in March, he has been pretty consistent in the main with a decent second at Goodwood off a mark of 92 behind the well-regraded Society Lion – very solid form.
Perhaps the ground wasn’t fast enough for him at Doncaster last time but the return to the all-weather might see him bounce back to form and he will sport cheekpieces for the first time here. Likely to be a double-figure price, that would look very fair with Paddy giving us an extra place here.
TIPPERARY JACK is not the most consistent but when he is on his game he is very useful and he looks worth siding with here off a mark of 82 at a track he has won twice at previously. He was a very easy winner here over this trip of seven furlongs last November off a mark of 80 and didn’t get the best of runs through when midfield here in September. This looks a bit easier than his last course run and he could well outclass this opposition if on a going day.
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Frank Hickey’s bet summary – Wednesday, October 7
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