Timeform expert Kieran Clark has taken a look at Thursday’s card at Stratford and selected five of his best bets before the action gets underway.
Check out his chat with Paddy Power TV’s Graham Temple in the video below to see his top tips.
This is an interesting race, and there looks to be three key principles in it. The one which is top-rated by Timeform, and my selection, is the Olly Murphy-trained A PERFECT GIFT. She was third when last seen at Exeter at the back end of last season – that was over 17 furlongs. She stayed on without being knocked about and I thought it is really interesting that she’s back up to a trip that should really suit her. Olly Murphy seems to be in a bit of form as well, so I think she looks the best proposition in this.
You’ve got Sandymount Rose in the race as well, who gets Sam Twiston-Davies on board for the first time. That one was a runner-up in a mares’ handicap at Plumpton when last seen. The ratings suggest there isn’t much between them, but I think the step back up in trip for A Perfect Gift would probably be the key factor. The other horse to note in this race is Go Millie Go, who just has a little bit to find on Timeform ratings. That one is rated 110 whereas A Perfect Gift is rated 112p, suggesting potential improvements to come. A Perfect Gift is the one for me.
This is a brilliant race on paper. My selection would be HAPPYGOLUCKY for the Kim Bailey team, who have really hit the ground running in the Jumps season proper. They’re firing in the winners – not quite on a daily basis but near enough at the moment! I think this horse is definitely a chaser in the making and was runner-up in an Irish points. He was last seen at the Cheltenham Festival when finishing fourth in the Martin Pipe. He’s already a winner around this course over hurdles as well, and this can be quite a specialist course given its sharp nature.
Harry Senior is probably going to make the market for us. That one was obviously much improved when going up to this trip over hurdles, including when winning a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in January. His run is best excused when pulled up in the Albert Bartlett last time. He’s going to be the best of this field over fences but I just think the Colin Tizzard team tend to need the run, from what I’ve seen recently. He had a couple at Aintree that traded odds-on and got beaten. They just seem to need that reappearance and a sharp track like this might not suit his nature so out of the two I am more keen on Happygolucky.
You’ve got the likes of Firak, who is a point winner going chasing for the Dan Skelton team. He’s going to be a better chaser than a hurdler, but I just don’t know if he’s got the class of the first two in the market. We’ve also got Earth Moor who was a progressive handicap hurdler last year but again, I don’t think that one has quite the class to match the first two in what could be a really good race.
This looks like a competitive handicap – we’ve got Templehills as the top-rated and it’s understandable to see why. He was a winner here on his seasonal reappearance 12 days ago for the Nigel Twiston-Davies team, who tend to fire in the winners at this early stage of the season before other yards get going. He made all on that occasion and this is a relatively quick turnaround, but looking at his mark he is now rated 128 and he won off 137 two years ago.
He is really well-handicapped on previous form but the reason I’m opposing him is that 12-day turnaround. He’s obviously fit and well but sometimes when turned around quickly, even after winning easily, they can still have a hard race. The one I would be willing to take him on with is DUSTIN DES MOTTES for the Richard Newland team who are also having a really good run of things. He was second in a five-runner race at Fontwell last time, but this is a much more competitive event and he is 4lbs higher. He is probably the most solid proposition, as there are a few others you can pick holes in.
Fanzio, for example, was in good form over the summer but was below form in a competitive event at Market Rasen last time. Mystical Clouds has left Alan King so we don’t really know what form he’s going to reappear in. He beat Aintree My Dream at Kempton, who was unlucky not to win at Fontwell the last time but made a bad mistake at the last and I think his jumping will be an issue. It’s the same with Templehills, who tends to belt a few along the way, so opting for Dustin Des Mottes while the yard is going well is probably the one to be on for what looks to be a pretty good race.
This is one for David Bowie fans with JEAN GENIE, who is Timeform top rated and also my selection. I really fancy this one, who made their seasonal reappearance only 11 days ago and was beaten by a head by a horse called Vocaliser who went from Robin Dickin to Olly Murphy’s yard this season and has a real resurgence in form – he’s won three in a row but Jean Genie pushed him really close. He’s actually 5lb well-in so if he was to run next week he would be off a 5lb higher mark. The yard is in-form and going well after a winner at Chepstow on Tuesday while they also won this race last year.
The race might potentially come too soon but they’ve got to run him because he’s so well handicapped. I would expect him to be a short-priced favourite, especially getting a four-year-old allowance as well. He’s getting over a stone when you include the allowance of the rider from the top weight. The only other one I could see running a race was Cougars Gold who is probably going to need a run, as he tends to do on his seasonal appearance each year.
MOONLIT SEA shaped better than the distance beaten last time suggested in a similar race to this at Fontwell. He made a bad mistake at the last, finished third and was beaten by 21 lengths in the end. Probably wasn’t going to win but shaped well and I thought it was interesting that Richard Johnson kept the ride. He rode at Fontwell and is on again here.
The race revolves around the favourite Soyouthinksoagain, who is Timeform top rated and is 10lb well-in. He was second to an improver in Carlisle last time out and showed much-improved form as well for the Skelton team. I’m expecting this one to be long odds-on so its worth taking a chance on something else each-way as while there are plenty of runners, there aren’t many that are in decent form. The second in the market is probably going to be either Scrutinise, who won last time but isn’t proven over this longer trip, or Orchard Grove who was second on handicap debut in Ireland and has now joined Kerry Lee. She’s in a good bit of form herself, but we don’t know what sort of form that horse is going to come over in. Moonlit Sea is probably going to be a bigger price than those two and looks a really solid each-way proposition.
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Timeform’s Stratford bet summary – Thursday, October 29
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