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Nick Hardman Free Tips

A bright Friday morning brings with it the joy of six tips from the excellent Nick Hardman of the Betting School Insiders Club

We have some decent racing today with the meetings at Doncaster and Huntingdon standing out by some way. I have gone through the cards and picked out some horses with strong chances as well as picking out a couple of bigger priced each-way runners.

John Ferguson is 4-11 with his hurdlers at Doncaster in non-handicap races in the last 3 years for a level stakes profit of £9.29. He runs Buckwheat in the novice hurdle race at 1.05pm and champ AP McCoy is booked to ride.

Nicky Henderson’s Days Of Heaven rates a big danger after showing much improved form in a first time hood when scoring at Ludlow (hood fitted again here). With that in mind there are options for the forecast with these two likely to be a lot better than the rest.

Steel Summit’s winning sequence must come to an end at some point but the manner of his latest victory and the fact he is 10lbs well-in at the weights make him one of the strongest bets on the card in the 2.50pm.

Nicky Henderson has a good chance of taking the final race on the Doncaster card with Clondaw Banker in the maiden hurdle. His second behind Jolly’s Cracked it at Ascot back in November is smart form and he ran that same rival to within a length next time out. A reproduction of either of those efforts should be enough to win this.

It’s not often a horse with form figures 8696 would interest me but you should always put those figures into the context of the race the horse is running in.

In this case the race is a novice handicap hurdle and a quick look at the rest of the runners reveal they too have form figures that look like the numbers round from Countdown.

The horse in question is Haleo and he runs in the 1.40pm today at Doncaster.

What drew my eye to him originally is that he is rated 97 in a race where the top rated horses are rated 99.

However, he gets a hefty 13lbs weight-for-age allowance from those two horses.

He ran well for a long way on his last start before fading two from home to finish 6th, beaten 10 lengths in total. He is the 20/1 outsider of the field here but I think that allowance will see him finish closer than market expectations.

Over at Huntingdon we have a similar scenario in the 4.05pm handicap hurdle that closes the card. Cyclop is joint-top rated with Harry Hunt on an official rating of 120.

However, the 4yo Cyclop gets 11lbs from his 8yo rival. Also in his favour is the booking of Sam Twiston-Davies and he also has a C&D win to his name. Up 6lbs for that latest win he might still have a bit of improvement in him.

The best race on the Huntingdon card is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier and top rated Aubusson is sure to prove popular dropping back into a handicap.

His latest effort saw him finish 3rd in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle. Prior to that, he won the Grade 3 Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock to earn his current rating of 153.

He has to give 11lbs away here although Lizzie Kelly’s claim will off-set 7lbs of that.

However, this is a hot race with David Pipe’s Knight Of Noir also holding strong claims along with Dolatulo and Zeroshadesofgrey.

But the one really interesting runner is Ely Brown. He defied an absence of 198 days to win a Pertemps Qualifier at Ascot in 2012 off a mark of 125 and went on to finish 6th in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham festival.

He defied an absence of 206 days to win the same Qualifier again in 2013 off a mark of 135 before being sent novice chasing where he won a Grade 2 on his second start.

He has not been seen in almost a year but it is interesting he goes back over hurdles and is racing here off a mark of 139.

Charlie Deutsch takes off 5lbs so that puts Ely Brown 1lb below his last winning hurdles mark.

He has won first time out in the last 2 seasons. This would be some training feat were he to take this and it will be interesting to see how he goes.

The negatives are that he is returning from injury (as opposed to a seasonal break) and word is he is being aimed at a tilt at the Grand National so this may just be a pipe-opener.

That said you often see Grand National horses running at the Cheltenham festival in the Pertemps Final.

My interest is perked just enough to have a little each-way @12/1.

Doncaster 1.05pm Buckwheat tweet this tip
Doncaster 1.40pm Haleo @20/1 (e/w) tweet this tip
Doncaster 2.50pm Steel Summit @6/4 tweet this tip
Doncaster 3.50pm Clondaw Banker tweet this tip
Huntingdon 3.05pm Ely Brown @12/1 (e/w) tweet this tip
Huntingdon 4.05pm Cyclop @9/2 tweet this tip

Trends and Tips

Here’s our regular Friday column from the excellent Nick Hardman of Betting Insiders (http://dailypunt.com/nickhardman )

Goldencents (adv 5/4) and Lady Eli (adv 13/2) got us off to a flyer last weekend, the latter putting in an awesome display of speed to win going away from the field.

We followed that up on Saturday with Aurore D’Estruval annihilating her small field. She was widely available at 11/8 before being backed into odds-on favouritism.

This week we will take a trends look at the November handicap from Doncaster and a quick preview of the Wentworth Stakes and Badger Ales Trophy. First we focus on a trainer with an impressive strike rate at Musselburgh.

The man in question is Donald McCain Jr. He has had more winners at Musselburgh over the jumps than any other trainer in the last 5 years.

His 29 winners have come from 102 runners at a strike rate of 28% and a level stakes profit of £32.25.

His handicap hurdlers at Musselburgh underperform compared to his other runners (2-29, 7% strike rate; level stakes loss -£22.75).

If we remove those runners then his stats look like this:

D. McCain Jr – chase, bumper and non-handicap hurdle runners at Musselburgh 2010 – 2014:

Runners: 73
Winners: 27
Strike Rate: 37%
Level stakes profit: £55.00

He has the following runners this Friday up at Musselburgh:

1.00pm Al Musheer (Juvenile Hurdle)
1.30pm Master Dee (Maiden Hurdle)
2.30pm Welsh Bard (Handicap Chase)
4.00pm Gingili (NH Flat)

Those stats were further boosted by 5/1 winner Roserrow on Thursday in a Novice Hurdle.

If you want to dig a little deeper, then I can tell you that D. McCain Jr is 5-22 (23% strike rate) in handicap chases, 12-33 (36%) in non-handicap hurdle races and 4-7 (57%) in NH flat races at Musselburgh since 2010.

Saturday sees a decent flat card at Doncaster with the highlight being the November handicap. I have run through the trends and we are looking for a horse rated 93 – 99 (all of the last 10 winners), aged 4yo to 6yo (7 of the last 8 winners), carrying 8st 10lbs to 9st 2lbs (all of the last 7 winners), won over 1m 4f or further and has raced in the last 60 days.

No favourite has obliged since 1995 and all of the last 7 winners were drawn in stall 9 or higher.

A top 4 finish LTO accounts for 13 of the last 17 winners and at least 4 runs that current season accounts for 16 of the last 17 winners. Putting all that together leaves us with:

Doncaster November handicap trends horses:

Esteaming @16/1 and Manhattan Swing @16/1

Elsewhere on Saturday, if the word “good” disappears from the current “good to soft” going then Jack Dexter will be in his element on a track where his form figures read 1113 on soft ground and he would be my pick in the Wentworth Stakes.

He put in his best run of the season on Champions Day (heavy ground) when 3rd behind Gordon Lord Byron and Tropics. This represents a drop in class for Tropics and Jack Dexter and they would both have to seriously misfire for one of them not to take this.

The Badger Ales Trophy looks highly competitive again this year and Standing Ovation has a great chance of retaining his crown.

He is 3-3 at Wincanton and although he went off the boil after landing this in 2013, he appeared back to his best LTO at Cheltenham when 2nd to Roalco De Farges.

Standing Ovation’s trainer David Pipe has won this race three times since 2007.

Even more impressive is Paul Nicholls who has won this 7 times since 1999. He has two entries, Benvolio and Just A Par. However, both make their seasonal reappearances here and the Nicholl’s horses have tended to need a run this season.

Lamb Or Cod represents the in-form Philip Hobbs and he loves good ground. If it stays good he will be a major player.

Alfie Spinner is closely matched on recent running with Standing Ovation and could run well at an each-way price.

On a final note, three weeks ago we gave you a couple of Godolphin microsystems for the all-weather racing at Kempton.

So far these two systems have pulled in 9.82pts profit at SP so keep an eye out for the Charlie Appleby and Saeed Bin Suroor runners at Kempton in the coming months.

All the best Nick

http://dailypunt.com/nickhardman

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