Welcome to my new column at HRR, where I will be focussing on pools betting via Colossus, who I write five days a week for and the Tote.
Here is tomorrow’s guide to the first six races that make up Colossus’s Place 6 at Plumpton.
Leg 1: (13.50 - Strong Flavours Catering Maiden Hurdle)
An interesting Maiden Hurdle to start proceedings with the vote in favour of AHORSEWITHNONAME representing the Nicky Henderson yard. Formerly a useful sort when trained by Brian Ellison on the flat, she ran well on stable/hurdles debut at Newbury when last seen to finish runner-up in a Listed event and a reproduction here would surely see her go one better.
Needless to say, heavy-ground specialist NATURAL HISTORY looks the main danger on the form available. He was the best of these on the flat (Group-Three runner-up) and was unfortunate to bump into a useful prospect on hurdles debut. With plenty more improvement to come, he should be right in the mix.
Verdict: AHORSEWITHNONAME & NATURAL HISTORY
Leg 2: (14.20 - tote.co.uk Novices' Hurdle)
An appealing Novices’ Hurdle and, coincidentally, Nicky Henderson is doubled-up in the race with Lily Pedlar and FANTASTIC LADY with marginal preference for the latter. She ran an eye-catching race when fourth on stable/hurdles debut behind Jay Bee Why and any sort of improvement from that effort should see her go close.
SAMEER looks like an interesting proposition based on his excellent third over C&D last month. It’s not inconceivable to see him improve significantly on the back of a wind operation since and, with the valuable course experience to his name, he’s dangerous to dismiss.
Verdict: FANTASTIC LADY & SAMEER
Leg 3: (14.50 - Buy The Plumpton History Book Now Handicap Chase)
This looks competitive and, although he has the burden of top-weight to contend with, GANGSTER has solid each-way claims. He’s 4Ib below his last winning mark, handles soft-to-heavy ground and looks set to run a big race back in calmer waters.
I SEE YOU WELL has failed to get competitive of late, but looks nicely treated based on historical form. For instance, he’s 5Ib lower than when successful over C&D back in 2018 and has a chance off his much-reduced mark.
Of the rest, YOUNG TURK ran his best race for a long time when second over C&D in a higher-graded race last time. Despite being beaten 20-lengths last time, he was a place in front of a 127-rated individual so he is clearly well-handicapped on a mark of 112.
Verdict: GANGSTER, I SEE YOU WELL & YOUNG TURK
Leg 4: (15.20 - Download The tote App Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle)
At first glance, this looked wide-open, but I’m convinced the Fergal O’Brien-trained CROSSGALESFAMEGAME will be very difficult to kick out of the frame.
The seven-year-old has seen the backend of Eglantine Du Seuil on both her starts this campaign, including at Cheltenham last time out in a mares’ handicap when rallying strongly having been hampered at the final flight. The runner-up, who is rated 146, has advertised the form by running well over the weekend behind Roksana and Magic Of Light.
That piece of form is a fundamental reason to suggest the selection is well-handicapped on a mark of 125 and she’s worth a try over this extended trip dropping down in grade, which could bring about further improvement
Leg 5: (15.50 - Visit attheraces.com Novices' Handicap Chase)
Realistically, this is one of the weakest events on the card and, for that matter, it could be worth taking a chance on GAIA VILLIS for the David Bridgewater camp.
She hasn’t exactly achieved much over hurdles, but her second to Allmankind at Warwick on her penultimate outing looks fair form, though she was beaten 37-lengths. Undoubtedly, she need to improve markedly for the switch to chasing but I’m hopeful the five-year-old can make an impact from a basement mark.
Of the remainder, RIGHT HAND OF GOD showed the best level of form of these over hurdles and ought to improve now in calmer waters back over a favourable distance. If Jamie Moore can seize the initiative and get an uncontested lead, there’s every chance this six-year-old will fill the frame.
Verdict: GAIA VILLIS, RIGHT HAND OF GOD
Leg 6: (16.20 - Strong Flavours Catering Handicap Hurdle)
A typically-competitive handicap hurdle concludes Monday’s card. MR JACK returned from a 14-month absence to score over C&D at the start of the month. He’s up 4Ib as a result, but has gone close off tougher marks previously in better races and looks poised to follow-up with a repeat performance.
DARKEST DAY has fallen to a career-low mark and ran his best race of the season when second in a C&D event 12 days ago. The blinkers seemingly had the desired effect on that occasion and another bold showing looks on the cards.
Verdict: MR JACK, DARKEST DAY