Some days racing really stand out although we have probably been spoilt over the last few weeks with the classy races on offer, however today it seems a little bit like a non-event in comparison to me although that’s not to say that there is not a bet or two to be had!
If you read my posts (and I hope you do) you will know that there is nothing I like more than a big high grade handicap on a Saturday afternoon to digest and analyse and today for that we need to change codes from the more recent fare and look at a couple of races at Market Rasen where they stage their biggest meeting of the season including the Betfred Summer Plate.
I will come to that race with my selection in a moment but my main fancy at the meeting today is in the preceding race the Betfred TV Summer Hurdle at 2.55 where I can’t get away from the John Ferguson trained Buckwheat who really stands out here.
Running in group races on the flat there is no doubt that this horse has the class to excel in the national hunt game and judging by his facile victory last time out albeit in much lesser company I think that on potential alone he needs to be seriously considered. He gets a top rating from the system which for such a lightly raced horse over the jumps is a little unusual and the 11/2 currently on offer with Coral’s looks to be a fair price.
Don’t get me wrong this will be no stroll in the park as a number of big trainers like Nicky Henderson and David Pipe have runners in the race and are trying their luck here but I am hoping that with the little bit of class that Buckwheat obviously possesses and the improvement which no doubt there is to come this will see him home.
The Betfred Summer Plate is a wide open affair and the old boy Champion Court is in a rich reign of form at present and it would be no surprise to see him run well again although I think the weight he has to give here to his younger rivals may be his undoing.
I think Perfect Timing is definitely in with a shout and if the master Tony McCoy was still in the saddle I would have probably gone for It’s A Gimme who he got on so well with, although that is not saying by any means that Barry Geraghty is a poor replacement. However after much deliberation I am going to side with the Dan Skelton trained Pumped Up Kicks who is in good form herself at present and looked to be one to keep on the right side of.
She is up 11lb’s today which is a fair hike I know but there is more to come from her I am sure. She also has Harry Skelton in the plate and he obviously gets on very well with her and the Dan Skelton team in general are not running too badly either.
Pumped Up Kicks gets the top system rating from me and with a 9/2 price advice that the system generates the 7/1 generally on offer looks to be a little generous so I am hopeful of a good run and a return here.
The Weatherbys Sprint at Newbury is as usual a so difficult race to call and a case can be made for a host of these, however I am going to have a little bit on the Richard Hannon trained Great Page who on what we have seen so far is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character but who obviously has some ability and is well regarded as she has a couple of group entries later in the season.
The Hannon team also do well in these type of events which is a positive and Great Page looks to be their main hope here so I am hoping that she will be on one of her going day’s today. The 6/1 on offer looks a little short I was hoping for at least 7’s, however this price or better may well be available later as the market moves in to full swing.
2.55 Market Rasen Buckwheat 2 points win @ 11/2
3.30 Market Rasen Pumped Up Kicks 1 point each way @ 7/1
3.45 Newbury Great Page 1 point each way @ 6/1 (best odds guaranteed)