By Chris Dixon
Most racing fans will be spending today focussing their thoughts towards the Cheltenham Festival, especially with the 48 declarations for the opening day being published.
But for those looking to boost the coffers ahead of the action at Prestbury Park, here’s a few runners at Market Rasen that can hopefully do just that along with my best bet of the week (as it stands!) at Cheltenham.
Point-to-point winner The Ogle Gogle Man showed improved form on his chasing and handicap debut at Huntingdon last time and is taken to progress and land this small-field contest.
It’s clear watching that run back that he has the physique and demeanour of a chaser and though he got in a bit tight to a good few fences on the way around, which checked his momentum, he was very good on other occasions and I liked the way he went through the race with lots of enthusiasm.
Beaten by a pair of well-handicapped horses, the form has already been given a bit of a boost when the fourth placed horse got much closer when second on his next start and I expect Charlie Mann’s charge to follow suit after a 2lb drop in the weights.
Likely to be suited by a good pace ahead of him, I don’t see the shorter trip being a problem in this testing ground and if his jumping is a bit more slick he should go close for a yard that have their horses in good form.
This looks a competitive race and though Doesyourdogbite looks a worthy market leader after returning to form in a strong race off a falling mark last time, I’m going to side with Supakalanistic each-way at double-figure odds.
Having displayed promise in a few bumper outings, he didn’t show a great deal in novices but took a big jump forward to win on his handicap debut at Southwell last time and for all this is a tougher race off a higher mark, I expect him to improve again.
Clearly at home under these conditions, he takes a step up in trip today but has plenty of stamina in his pedigree and the extra yardage can help his progress.
Testing conditions bring out the best in What A Diva and after returning to form when back on a deep surface last time, she is taken to build on that effort and get her head in front.
Second to an unexposed handicap debutant over this course and distance that day, the form was given a boost by the next time out win of the third horse home.
What A Diva had won her previous start at this track, where the stable boast a good strike rate, and clearly goes well here while this is a drop in grade from recent assignments.
Bridane Rebel is from an in-form yard and ran well behind an unpenalised last time out winner and a next time out winner when third at Carlisle last time and is feared most so I suspect I’ll cover my stake on her.
Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday: Sam Spinner at a general 9-2The progressive Sam Spinner can win at Cheltenham on Thursday (Racingfotos)
A few of those towards the fore in the betting for the Stayers Hurdle, most notably Supasundae, have stamina doubts against them in my opinion and they can be exposed by the progressive Sam Spinner.
Having made his Grade 1 breakthrough in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last time, Jedd O’Keeffe’s progressive six-year-old brings the best form into the race already and may still have more to offer.
He had some good horses, including several of his likely rivals here, in trouble a long way from home in that race but kept on better than anything without his rider having to go for everything and clocked a good time in the process.
Still improving and completely unexposed at the trip, he hails from a stable that can get one spot on after a break so I’ve no worries that he hasn’t been seen since, especially as that was seemingly always their plan, and though his forward-going tactics will be tougher to pull off in this race, I think he’s up to the task.
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