Syndicate Captain TFA returns with an in-depth preview of Wednesday’s Hamilton card, as he tries to unravel the £5,000 Place 6 pool which is the featured Best Dividend Guaranteed meeting. Be Bold is his pick of the evening in the 20:00, read on to discover why.
A tricky 15 runner 6f amateur handicap to kick-start proceedings and it looks a very competitive race.
The horse that caught my eye going through the field is definitely Havana Go. He is unbelievably well-handicapped here off a mark of 52 and he finished his last race superbly over 5f at this course on soft ground. The extra 1f on Wednesday should make him even more competitive and he represents good value.
Space War and Queen of Kalahari both arrive in tremendous form and met last time out at Nottingham. Space War prevailed that day by a couple of lengths and, under identical terms this evening, he should confirm his good form. With both running well, I would be inclined to include each horse on my perm.
Place 6 Selections – Havana Go, Space War, Queen of Kalahari
Eight runners in this one gives us three places to play with. I’m opting just to make two selections though as a single non-runner would drop us down to two places.
None of the field have encountered soft ground so far and, therefore, the going is a question mark for those with experience as well as those who have yet to see the racecourse.
Spring Bloom is sure to be popular after finishing as runner-up last time and, with the front three finishing clear, sets a decent standard for the newcomers to meet.
I was somewhat torn between the two unraced horses from the Archie Watson and David O’Meara yards, Better The Devil and Bubbly Splash. In the end, I’ve came down on the side of Better The Devil due to the fact he had an entry at Haydock on Thursday. Haydock is very likely to ride soft which gives me a clue that Better The Devil may have a preference for soft ground. If so, he should be at home here.
Place 6 Selections – Spring Bloom, Better The Devil
I’m not sure this race is that competitive and there are a few that you would struggle to build a case for.
The key thing I noticed going through the field was the number of horses stepping up in trip and, with the ground riding soft, this may take some getting used to.
For this reason, I would be inclined to take on Majeste who has won his last two over 9f but was well-beaten over 10f on his only try before. This is 11f on soft ground and there is every chance he runs out of stamina late on.
Elite Icon is a strong stayer and this trip is potentially on the sharp side for him. However, I would rather favour a runner who is proven to stay this far on similar ground rather than side with the favourite, so he is one of my selections.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Seaborough turned the tables on Sosian after they finished first and second last time. Although both have doubts about the trip and ground, I think Seaborough makes the shortlist.
Place 6 Selections – Seaborough, Elite Icon
There are only eight runners in this race but it’s very difficult to rule any out. The two who stand out on form for me are Princess Palliser and Inspired Thought.
Princess Palliser caught my eye at Redcar on soft going last year when finishing third. She was behind Roulstan Scar who has won a couple of times already this season and is now rated much higher.
Three-quarters of a length behind her was Lady Calcaria who meets Princess again on 10lbs worse terms having already won twice this season.
Princess Palliser ran an eye-catching race last time, finishing fourth of 15 at Doncaster on good ground. She made rapid late headway having been hampered and losing momentum. She looked a well-handicapped horse and I will be amazed if she can’t win a handicap off 67 this season, probably on soft ground. She looks a decent bet to me.
The favourite will also be difficult to keep out of the frame and her form is stacking up nicely. She was bumped into two starts back at Newcastle when losing her undefeated record but the winner of that race followed up well next time out off a 7lbs higher mark.
Inspired Thought won again in her last outing, beating a horse called Magical Spirit who then followed up as well. Whichever way you look at it, she has the best form in the book and could still be well handicapped off 81. The only question mark is the ground.
Place 6 Selections – Princess Palliser, Inspired Thought
Another race where you can rule out half of the field and it’s not as competitive as it looks on paper.
There aren’t too many that are as well handicapped as Chinese Spirit running in this race. On soft ground and off a mark of 60 he could potentially be a very decent bet in this. He returned to form last time at Ayr and, given that he clearly has a preference for soft ground, I think he can outclass a number of his rivals.
Rebel State is a horse I know well and I was on him when he received a poor ride at Ayr. Admittedly he didn’t have a great draw that day but got too far behind to catch the winner who had flown. He should go well here assuming he handles the ground which is the only question mark for me.
Milan Reef has been busy in the last two weeks but is holding his form well. I was surprised that they stepped him up to 10f at the weekend as he looked like he would be better coming back to a mile after being beaten at short prices in a couple of handicaps over 9f. Returned to a mile tonight, he is definitely on a winnable mark of 54 and I will be surprised if he is too far away.
Place 6 Selections – Chinese Spirit, Rebel State, Milan Reef
A tricky race to end the card although I have found one that I like the look of. Be Bold was unlucky last time out. That was on firm ground when he is much better horse on softer ground and you have to give him a chance here at a prices.
Spirit of Sarwan looks really solid in this race after finishing runner-up last time. He will be difficult to keep out of the frame and, in a race lacking depth, I will be surprised if he doesn’t run well.
Place 6 Selections – Be Bold, Spirit of Sarwan