Andy Holding has three bets on the all-weather, including a 2pt bet at Southwell.
BALLYHENRY (best price 3-1) has always been held in some regard by his up-and-coming trainer and this looks a decent starting point to his chasing career off a workable mark. Impressive in winning two bumpers, Ben Pauling’s charge got off the mark over hurdles at the second time of asking when lowering the colours of some useful sorts at Kempton and although he failed to add to that tally in two subsequent outings, a reoccurrence of a slight wind issue was cited as a viable excuse for those below-par efforts. Reportedly working nicely since his new operation, the son of Presenting is yet another exciting prospect for the Gloucestershire handler to go to war with and it would be disappointing if he wasn’t at least extremely competitive on his debut over fences.
DANDY FLAME (best price 4-1) looks an extremely intriguing runner on his first start for new connections and he’s fancied to give an instant return in this competitive affair. A slightly unconventional acquisition for the stable of William Haggas in many ways, the son of Dandy Man arrives at his new barn with the distinction of being the longest priced winner of this year’s Flat season when causing a 200-1 surprise at Wolverhampton for his previous handler, Jose Santos. Although he’s failed to add to that tally in three subsequent starts, he did run really well in a competitive nursery back at the same track last time out and using the theory that he’s likely to have improved since switching to a more high-profile yard, the chestnut gelding rates a fair bet at his early morning price.
Short-priced Catchthemoonlight may well have been an early casualty, but it was still difficult not to be impressed by the way JAUNTY THOR (NAP) (best price 5-2) slayed his rivals at Uttoxeter on Saturday and providing he’s able to run a similar level just three days on, Oliver Greenall’s charge has a chance of shrugging aside his welter burden. The key to that performance was clearly the drop back to the minimum trip and the testing ground, so given that he has another opportunity to run under a similar set of circumstances again, it makes sense for connections to try and strike while in the iron is hot in this sort of grade.