Only Sam Noir gave us a return yesterday when he was placed at Market Rasen. Star Foot ran well until weakening in the latter stages at Huntingdon but our other selections were disappointing.
4.15 – Hereford – Dahills Hill. 2 pts win. Available at 13/2.
Plenty of this eleven runner field have the capability to win but preference is for the potential of Dahills Hill. A former Irish Point winner, she broke her maiden status under rules on her penultimate start over 21 furlongs at Ludlow. Dropped back to an extended 18 furlongs at Market Rasen last time out she was a decent second in a race which has worked out well. The winner was second from a five pound higher mark on her next start and there have been subsequent victories for the third, fifth and seventh placed horses. Dahills Lad now takes a significant step up in trip to an extended 25 furlongs and, although her stamina has to be taken on trust, her running style, breeding and Point victory all suggest she could improve for it. She has incurred a four pound rise in the weights since her last outing but that came from an eleven pound higher mark than for her victory so she is obviously going the right way. The yard are adept at placing their horses in handicaps with their hurdlers returning a very profitable 13% strike rate in recent seasons and their Chasers doing likewise from a 14% strike rate. They send just the one to the track today and their jockey turns up for the one booked ride.
4.45 – Hereford – Jimmy Bell. 3 pts win. Available at 4/1.
Jimmy Bell has obviously had his problems because he only made his debut this time last year and only ran his first race over hurdles in January. He was beaten in three maiden races but showed improvement with each start, two of them coming on this track. Allocated a mark of 100 for his handicap debut here last time out over an extended 21 furlongs he was disappointing in a well beaten fifth place. He will need to put that effort well behind him if he is to prevail in this race but that earlier maiden form suggests he is capable of doing so and the Assessor has given him a helping hand by dropping him three pounds. Testing conditions won’t be a problem and, although he represents a yard with a poor strike rate over hurdles, their entries here have fared well. From nine entries they have produced two wins, a second and two thirds. They have booked Richard Johnson this afternoon which augurs well for a positive effort.
6.40 – Newcastle – Raven Banner. 1.5 pts e/w. Available at 8/1. (betfair – 1/5 odds first 4)