The rescheduled Navan card takes place today with some informative contests, notably the Ten Up Novices Chase, where Jockey Jamie Codd will have his prep spin on the National Hunt Chase bound Braeside. At the same time, Mark Walsh is an interesting booking for Run Wild Fred.
There’s some good racing at Market Rasen where Langer Dan will make his reappearance before a crack at the Martin Pipe after chasing home Gallopin Des Champs last term. Taunton and Southwell both have races of interest also!
Yesterday’s column threw up loads of winners so let’s get cracking…
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
13:20 Taunton – Novus Aditus 18/1 into 12/1
15:40 Taunton – Ajero 15/2 into 5/1
15:55 Market Rasen – Alright Chief 9/1 into 15/2
The morning market drifters !
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
13:00 Market Rasen – Fleurman 5/6 OUT 1/1
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
A market watch is advised in the 13:00 at Market Rasen on Glen Again 6.05/1, who has a flat rating of 85 and won’t need to be at the top of his game to win this contest, despite the presence of an odds-on favourite.
Jockey Harry Skelton has a 24% strike rate at Market Rasen. Today he has two rides, Gentle Connections 7.513/2 in the 14:10 and Doyouknowwhatimean 5.59/2 in the 16:30.
Potentially smart French four-year-old Petit Tonnerre 1.51/2 will look to make a positive start in Britain for Jonjo O’Neil in the 14:45 at Market Rasen. Still, Presuming Ed 3.02/1 is two for two at this venue and will get a soft lead on the front end and could be hard to pass.
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 26% strike rate in bumpers at Market Rasen. Today he saddles Doyouknowwhatimean 5.59/2 in the 16:30.
Gordon Elliott targets the Boyne Hurdle at Navan at 14:20, having won the contest four times in the last five years. Today he saddles Grand Roi 10.519/2 and Commander Of Fleet 17.016/1.
Trainer Philip Hobbs has a 22% strike over fences at Taunton, and today he saddles Larkbarrow Lad 5.04/1 in the 15:05 – a horse usually well supported.
In the 15:40 at Taunton, everyone knows that Langer Dan’s 5.59/2 target is the Martin Pipe and that he will need the run. Still, this is not a strong contest, and with everyone dismissing him on that basis, it would be no surprise to see him run very well.
Trainer Evan Williams will bid for back to back victories in the 16:15 at Taunton with Arizona Glory 13.012/1.
Jockey Harry Cobden is profitable £45 to a £1 level stake when riding for Colin Tizzard. He takes the ride on the well-handicapped Born In Borris 31.030/1 in the 16:50 Handicap Hurdle.
Trainer Andrew Balding is profitable to £49 for a £1 level stake with handicap debutants. Today he saddles Griffin Park 3.02/1 in the 19:00 at Southwell.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
14:45 Market Rasen – Presuming Ed – Has won here twice (100%)
17:00 Southwell – Brandy Station – Has won here three times (20%)
18:30 Southwell – Heron – Has won here three times (60%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
17:00 Southwell – Lorna Cole – Has won off 62 runs off 46
18:30 Southwell – Bird For Life – Has won off 63 runs off 53
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Rebecca Menzies has sent out five winners from her last ten runners and today sends out three runners, including 67.066/1 chance Johnny Estella at Market Rasen 13:00. She sends Louis Treize 3.55/2 and Batocchi 2.47/5 to Southwell in 17:00 and 18:30.
The Menzies treble pays 690/1
Today’s furthest traveller is Joanne Thomason-Murphy. She has made the 194-mile journey to Taunton with her runner Darcys Hill 67.066/1 in the 16:50.
Race of the day
We head to Southwell of all places today for the race of the day feature and take a closer look at the 18:00 5f Handicap contest. Just the six runners here, but this looks highly competitive and a good race to get stuck into.
Zarzyni has been unfortunate more times than you can count, but that’s down to his running style, where he relies on a pace collapse to make a strong late challenge. He is clearly more than capable off of this handicap mark of 96 and at this level, but he is frustrating to back.
He arrives off the back of a good fast-finishing second here over six furlongs, where he finished a nose ahead of today’s rival Digital. It was a similar story over course and distance back in December when playing his hand too late.
The drop back to 5f is not a positive to his chances, given the powerful finishing effort last time over a furlong further, and he may want speed in the early stages. It would be no surprise to see him running on all too late again.
Digital was a smart, progressive three-year-old last term, and there was plenty to like about his seasonal return effort here over six furlongs last time when shaping as though he needed the run.
The drop back in trip on that evidence looks a good move, and he is entitled to strip fitter for the outing today. He is fast from the gate, so drawn widest of all in stall six should be of little worry to his backers.
He was quite free the last day, but with that run likely knocking the freshness out of him, more is expected today off this workable mark of 90.
King Of Stars could well dominate this contest from the front out of a good draw in stall two, and he was highly progressive last term.
All of his wins have come in small fields, but he is now operating at the top end of the handicap on a career-high mark and needs to raise his game in this company.
He has run poorly twice in Meydan this winter, but it’s unfair to judge him on those efforts, and he will be happier back in Britain, no doubt. Still, it’s hard to know how much more he has to offer.
Big race verdict
This will likely be fought out between Zarzyni and Digital with a preference for that latter, who is a favourable price to reverse the recent form now down to a more suitable trip. He could be one to follow for the season and indeed has more improvement to come on the back of an encouraging reappearance.
Timeform looking to crown at Queen at Taunton
Timeform’s Tony McFadden highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Taunton on Tuesday…
Read Timeform tips here.
Calvin takes an early look at Saturday big races
Tony sets about Saturday’s big one at Kempton, the Coral Trophy, searching for the best early bets…
Read Tony’s Column here.
Final Word – The Cheltenham experience
When all the dust and excitement has settled at the end of day one, make sure keep a close eye on the early market movers for day two. Punter attention immediately turns to the following day, and the evening markets have plenty of liquidity.
If you have had a bad first day, don’t panic. It’s easy to throw away your festival chasing after day one loses on day two. First and foremost don’t chase, but also curb your enthusiam also if you have had a good day – we may have four days to earn a crust, but the bookies have four days to get it back also!
Don’t throw more than you can afford at Tiger Roll simply because it could be his last race, not every horse goes out on a win! But let’s hope he does.
Day two will be a day where multiples are either starting to stack up or have been blown out of the water. There’s still a chance to create new ones for the following two days. The big dream is not over.
Pay close attention to the handicap gambles, the money is usually very informative at Cheltenham, particularly in handicaps. Don’t be afraid to piggy back on a plunge horse.
Work two days ahead. By the end of Tuesday you now have Weds and Thurs declarations, and there’s nothing wrong with betting as early as you can in these markets across the four days.
Hit the Guiness Village win or lose, the atmosphere is electric!
Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7