Paul Jacobs’ Horse Racing Tips
- PLEASE NOTE: Since this article was published, racing at Warwick & Uttoxeter has been abandonded
Old boy Clongowes could be a player on his best form and possibly hit the frame at a price, but he is still a maiden over timber after 17 starts and there are less exposed sorts worthy of a play here. They include recent Newcastle second Inegnnio who has been building up to a season’s best and will relish this slog and top weight I Got Stung who is totally unexposed.
However, I am happy to sit in the trenches for this opening novice event with Olly Murphy’s charge, BITSNBUCKLES, who I think we have yet to see the best of.
His best performances in the point-to-point field came when the ground was pretty testing and there was plenty to like about his sixth in a Market Rasen maiden when he was held up way off the back in a race with little early pace so when the tempo quickened he was at a significant disadvantage. The extra three furlongs should serve him well and I expect a career best under rules here.
Count Otto ran a near career-best behind the red-hot Intervention over the course and distance last time out and is a pound lower here in an easier race. The veteran is one of a number of these who like to race at the sharp end and this could well be set up for a closer.
Clipsham La Habana ran well at a similar level at Newcastle and will be well served by an end-to-end gallop and although 0-8 on the sand, Razzam has been knocking on the door and is worthy of respect. However, if Davis Probert can steady her at the start and get her to relax this offers a really good opportunity to STAR OF LADY M who is having a tremendous end of year having been on the go all through 2023 from mid-April.
The daughter of Havana Grey has been holding her form well and was particularly unlucky when she was third at Wolverhampton last time out when the slack early pace cost her. A winner off a rating of 68 over the course and distance last month, a mark of 75 is well within her compass especially if we get the anticipated end-to-end gallop and she looks solid betting material here.
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Interestingly, Olly Murphy has kept Hara Kiri in training after being on the sidelines for 688 days. A fair bumper performer for Willie Mullins, he was given some tough tasks in novice hurdles behind the likes of Aucunrisque and Walking On Air at the beginning of 2022, so the betting should tell us plenty about his chance on his handicap debut off a very fair mark of 96 if he retains the majority of his ability.
Penpal also comes here off a break after his last winning run at Newcastle in May, but better ground seems to suit him best, and in a fascinating handicap and doubts about several of the market leaders acting on this type of surface, the nod goes to Nigel Hawke’s runner, FEACH AMACH (NAP)
He may not be the normal ‘value play’ for this column, but I couldn’t let him go as I rate the son of Fracas the best bet of the day after he stormed clear at a big price at Sedgefield last time out. I think there was no fluke about that success and he could be firmly on the upgrade.
15:15 Punchestown – Eikonix (each-way)
Outsider Max Time has been given a real chance by the handicapper here and could well hit the frame at massive odds and may be worth a backup wager if the odds are right. Top weight Boola Boola has bits and pieces of form that made him interesting at this level if he is fit from a break, but the each-way play simply has to be this former flat performer, rated as high as 78 on the level in England with Andrew Balding.
EIKONIX’s form figures simply don’t tell the whole story as he looked the likely winner turning for home at Naas and only bottomed out approaching the last flight and was eased down to finish 11th of 17.
If Shane Fenelon can just hold onto him a wee bit longer there is little doubt that he should be able to open his account over timber off a mark of 91 with conditions certainly not a problem. The Big Cloud and my top-rated in the race, Verbal Sparring, also have solid claims in a weak contest even for this level.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Paul Jacobs’ Horse Racing Tips
PLEASE NOTE: Since this article was published, racing at Warwick & Uttoxeter has been abandonded
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