Update and Worcester

Good morning all,

I'm into a busy time at the moment as not only am I dashing around the country trying to take some racing in (Worcester today, Doncaster Thursday and Sandown Friday the agenda this week) but I have started putting my “horses to follow” list for the coming jumps season together. That'll be in this months “Betting Insiders” for those of you that take it, but I'll be mentioning them as they crop up throughout the season anyway.

Today, and update on where we are with our ante-post bet and a look at Worcester's card.

The ante-post bet I want to put up is still in the balance. Having spoke to a couple of folk I'm getting conflicting info, so I'm hoping to catch up with the trainer himself over the next week and find out exactly what his plans are. Don't worry, the race is some way away and the price won't be going anywhere, so we're not missing out on anything!

Worcester today – first of all, a six-race card, can't remember the last time that happened at Worcester and it means I'll be back home for a reasonable hour for a change! Not a bad little card though, here's my run through.

Dreamcatching a non-runner in the first has made this both more and less appealing, if that makes sense. It makes it less appealing from a watching brief as I was looking forward to seeing Dreamcatching in the flesh, and it does look a penalty kick for Azzuri now, but the interesting point is to see whether Miss Feistypants, who has had a positive mention here before (looked well last time and ran a bit better than finishing position) takes to fences. She's certainly built for them and as neither King Alfonso or Mccabe Creek are that trustworthy (or that good, come to that), second place isn't impossible if she can get her act together at the first time of asking.

The Novices Handicap Chase that follows at 2.35 isn't easy to solve, but Raven's Hill might be worth another try on ground that should suit. There have been legitimate excuses for his defeats over fences and he should have a chance. But not a race to go mad about.

The 3.05 looks a bit more like it, and this will be run at a good pace with Hallings Comet, Ivor's Queen and Berry De Carjac in attendance. It looks set up for a traveller and although Captain Morley is stunningly obvious on handicap debut, the 9-1 e/w about Maximus Maridius looks too good to pass up. He travelled so well in rear last time, made his ground up on the bridle and only found the fast-improving Shanksforamillion too good. Up a couple of pounds for that but this looks a very good opportunity and I've had a bit at 11s e/w last night (rule 4 will apply now though with Itshard To No out). Still plenty of juice at 9s though, in my opinion.

The exciting Robbin'Hannon faces a simple task in the next but the Mares race after should throw some clues up. Sadly the 7-2 about Maria's Benefit has long gone and 9-4 is the best price now. I like her a lot (and her trainer, the excellent Stuart Edmunds, much underrated) and expect her to progress well this season. But this is no penalty kick, with G For Ginger and Woolstone One in attendance, both of whom are promising sorts in their own right, and I'm even looking at newcomer Georgina Joy too (for another day). Should be an informative contest but at this stage, no bet for me.

However there's some interesting ones in the last at 4.35, a handicap hurdle. Fair Frank is one I have been waiting for a handicap mark for – he's another that's had mentions in these dispatches as a decent sort, and although fences will be his game, a better effort today in his first handicap would be no surprise. I shall try a small bet on him, along with Lion Of Lackabane, who has also performed a bit better than his last couple of finishing positions has suggested. He has some ability and isn't the worst looking horse either, and in an open looking race, they will be my two against the field. It'll be interesting to see whether there's any money (again) for The Lion Man – look at the prices he keeps going off, and then look how he performs! Someone somewhere thinks he's better than he's shown!

Today's selection – Maximus Maridius 3.05 Worcester

Good luck with all your bets today,

David.

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