Andy Holding has two 4/1 shots running over at Wetherby.
As we saw at Cheltenham several times last week, the misjudgement of pace can totally ruin a horse’s chance of winning and that theory applies to DEDIGOUT’s (NAP) (best price 4-1) last two runs at Ayr. The one sure-fire way of getting a stayer beat is to go too fast in the hottest part of the race – just like Richard Johnson did on LA Bague Au Roi in the Mares Hurdle – and that’s what has happened to Micky Hammond’s inmate in almost identical fashion. Firstly, Joe Colliver pressed for home way too far out on the son of Bob Back at the Scottish venue back in late February and he was eventually picked off by the more patiently ridden The Delray Munky, and then for good measure, young conditional, Joe Wright, went and did exactly the same aboard his mount at the same venue two weeks later. Just because a horse has won over 3m and stays well doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go ‘lights out’ from the start, so providing today’s pilot can judge the fractions better this time around (he went too slow on Sam Spinner in the Stayers Hurdle) the 12-year-old can deservedly find his way into the winner’s enclosure.
The race won by Skywards Reward was noted for its smart speed figure for the grade, and having seen the likes of the winner and, most notably the third home, Instingtive, boost the form subsequently, there’s every reason to be positive about the chances of CHRISTMAS IN USA (best price 4-1) on his return visit to the Yorkshire track. In a race which turned out to be a strong one both on the overall times and sectionals, Nick Alexander’s inmate impressed by the way he saw it out all the way to the line and although he didn’t have the pace of the eventual winner, he seemingly stayed on better than one of his main market rivals, Instingtive, which augurs well for his chances of confirming the form here today. Prior to that sound effort, the six-year-old had also featured prominently in another race that produced a smart speed figure (both Morning With Ivan and Baby Ticker won since) so even though the son of Shannmer is currently 0-22, he still makes plenty of appeal from an each-way/place only perspective.