Horse racing tips: Dave Nevison's three best bets, including a 14-1 chance

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Wed 13 Jan 2021

I am very much looking forward to an evening of punditry on the channel at Chelmsford on Thursday, and I am particularly excited about the two divisions of the 0-50 classified stakes, as well as the 0-50 handicaps that I will be aiming to solve.

I have taken aim at the seven-race card at Catterick in the afternoon first, and I am really hoping one of the three below wins, and takes the pressure off finding a winner in the evening!

12.40 Catterick: Punctuation at 9-4 with Bet365

I have expressed my views about juvenile hurdles several times and am often happy to back horses who are head and shoulders above their rivals on their Flat ratings.

Some of his rivals have shown a modicum of ability and may be expected to win a modest race, but they shouldn’t rival a horse who did not run badly in the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot last year.

Punctuation’s best run on the Flat came on soft ground and he is noted as having a very round action, so ground conditions should be advantageous, if anything.

He is generally ridden from the front which is a plus for me on this course, and if he takes to jumping, he looks a good thing here.

2.10 Catterick: Don’t Ask at 14-1 with William Hill

Things have not gone well for Don’t Ask since he won a novices’ hurdle at Taunton on his final start in 2018.

It is a leap of faith, but a case can be made in his defence - enough to justify supporting him at a big price here.

He fell at the last when certain to be placed in a decent handicap on his second run the following season before rather unusually being asked to tackle fences after that.

He definitely didn’t take to fences but showed he retained ability when placed in a good field in a ‘jumpers’ bumper’ on his final start for Warren Greatrex.

He improved greatly following his first start for Alex Hales last time when running a good race, even though he only finished sixth at Market Rasen.

He has dropped down to a mark of 116 and has a tongue strap and blinkers applied today.

He is now fit, very well handicapped on his best form and his new stable are going well. If the headgear proves to be a positive move, he could go really well in what is not the strongest of races.

2.40 Catterick: Duc De Grissay at a general 7-2

Has the youngest legs in this field and definitely looks the only one that seems to be improving in the North Yorkshire Grand National, though top-weight Le Breuil returns after a wind op, which is interesting.

He has been raised 8lb for his latest run which will have been frustrating for connections as he unseated at the last when booked for at least second place in a similar event at Kelso.

He has been given time to recover from that run and his stable has been in very good form since, so if he reproduces that effort here, he should go very close, despite the rise in the weights.

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