Dave Nevison's top tips for Wednesday: Rely on Merchant Of Venice

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Wed 29 Jan 2020

The meeting at Hereford on Wednesday has already been called off, leaving us with slim pickings.

The sole afternoon fixture is at Leicester, with Kempton’s all-weather action following soon after. I’ve got selections at both meetings, starting with:

2.15 Leicester: Pistol Whipped

This one looked different class to his rivals over course and distance last time out and, though raised 6lb for that success, I believe that in a stronger race he might well have revealed more improvement and been hit even harder.

Nicky Henderson’s charge was returning after an absence and a wind op. If in similar heart, he should oblige again.

5.45 Kempton: Merchant Of Venice

Merchant Of Venice finishes a close fourth behind Rangali last time. The pair meet again on Wednesday

It is David Simcock, not Shylock, who will probably provide the main danger to James Fanshawe’s talented five-year-old but I am hoping the application of cheekpieces and a 1lb pull will enable him to get his pound of flesh (groan!).

Rangali got the best of a ridiculously tight finish between four runners last time – with Merchant Of Venice coming off fourth best - but I like the booking of Ben Curtis and this horse has previously won twice over this mile at Kempton.

With such fine margins involved, I’m hoping the headgear might bring about a significant level of improvement.

8.15 Kempton: Black Prince

I would want to see this horse positive in the betting market before betting on him, and I also believe it is difficult to improve a horse from Anthony Honeyball.

However, I believe it is the right approach returning him to the all-weather as Black Prince has run his best races on the surface and the opposition is modest.

The six-year-old was not completely hopeless over hurdles but Honeyball’s yard is a bit of a jumps academy and this one wouldn’t cut it.

He gets the trip and has joined Martin Keighley, whose yard had a good winner at Cheltenham last weekend.

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