After a 5/4 (2pt) winner and an agonising 4th placed each way selection, Steve Ryder previews four races on Saturday 13th January. January P&L -8.15pts.
12:30 Wetherby- Truckers Lodge 2/1 (5pt)
Truckers Lodge is a hugely exciting novice hurdler for the season. He dead heated in a PTP in December 2016 and the form of that has been boosted with Empire Burleque winning a bumper for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott since. Truckers Lodge then won his only bumper last season, beating Mont Des Avaloirs by 9 lengths. Mont Des Avaloirs has boosted the form since by winning a bumper and then winning a novice hurdle at Aintree after falling at Wincanton when clear at the last on his hurdling debut. His best run was then in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle when finishing 3rd but he jumped terribly, so the fact that Truckers Lodge could beat him in a bumper shows he has a fair engine. Truckers Lodge receives 7lb from his main two market rivals and Ciaran Gethings takes off a further 3lb. Tom George is in good form with a 20% strike rate and I would be really disappointed if Truckers Lodge didn’t win on his hurdling debut.
2:40 Kempton- William Henry 6/1 (2pt ew)
William Henry was a progressive novice hurdler last season with the form of 1212. He was then sent chasing on November where he was only sent off 5/2 to beat Finian’s Oscar but jumped horrendously and was pulled up. It is no surprise to see him revert back to hurdles and Nicky Henderson has booked James Bowen to claim 5lb off the top weight. The trainer has a fantastic record at this meeting and is currently operating at a 33% strike rate and he is a confident selection in a race where you can get 5 places.
2:50 Wetherby- Westend Story 11/4 (1pt)
Westend Story was a huge disappointment over hurdles last season having been a high class bumper horse in 2015/2016. He fell in both of the PTPs before winning two bumpers for Philip Hobbs and then finished a brilliant 5th place in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. He finished 3rd in his maiden hurdle which was won by subsequent Neptune Hurdle winner Willoughby Court but was beaten a long way. He then finished a well beaten second in another maiden hurdle at Wetherby before being brought down at Ludlow. The handicapper has gave him a mark of 124 for his handicap debut but he was disappointing again when fading into 4th at Carlisle back in November. The horses he finished close to in the Champion Bumper have ratings a lot higher: Bacardys (155), Castello Sforza (133), High Bridge (139), Augusta Kate (144), Rather Be (143). On that basis he should have a huge chance still off a mark of 124 and the Philip Hobbs stable is coming back into form now (22% strike rate) so another chance is taken on him.
7:45 Wolverhampton- Pulsating 7/4 (1pt)
Since joining Archie Watson, Pulsating has the form of 21411 with two of those victories coming over C&D. She is 5lb higher than when winning at Kempton last week but she looks really progressive and looks one to keep on side until the handicapper catches up with her.
12:30 Wetherby- Truckers Lodge 2/1 (5pt) click here for best odds
2:40 Kempton- William Henry 6/1 (2pt ew) click here for best odds
2:50 Wetherby- Westend Story 11/4 (1pt) click here for best odds
7:45 Wolverhampton- Pulsating 7/4 (1pt) click here for best odds
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