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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Can the Rebecca Curtis revival continue

Looking back at yesterday, my overview of the handicap chase race at Ludlow was fair as the 6/4 fav Azure Fly - a horse that I considered to be vulnerable - was beaten into 2nd by a younger horse that I identified as a possible improver: Heist.

No wager landed on the race, but the thinking is in the right place.  Even so, it is an early reminder of why I provide the narrative - it gives the reader the ability to follow their own risk profile.

Onto Thursday's racing with a couple of meetings at Hereford and Exeter, and it is at the latter track where there is a particularly interesting handicap chase over 3m1f at 4:15pm.  Just 9 horses go to post and the market is led by the topweight The Tourard Man who has won his last 4 races this summer, and No No Mac who is looking to complete a hattrick.

He may be a 10yo but The Tourard Man is in the form of his life and looks unexposed as a chaser - he could be a lot better than his current rating of OR137 and we know he will (or should) stay todays trip. The 7yo No No Mac is still learning his trade chasing, and I feel this trip may well stretch his stamina.

Of the others, LTO winner Belmount will have no problems with the trip and we know he's race-fit but he was raised 5lb in the handicap for that win and he struggled off a similar rating last season. I would not be confident about the other LTO winner in the race Dursey Sound, as he's capable on his day but very inconsistent.

There are a couple of other horses that I'm interested in.  The 7yo Audacious Plan had a poor season in 2015-16 but then his trainer Rebecca Curtis could not get her stable firing.  We've seen her horses running well this autumn and perhaps Audacious Plan will return to form.  If he does then, off OR131 he will take some beating, as he looked like a potential 140+ performer when 2nd at Punchestown in May-15 over 3m6f on soft ground. We will have to watch him today.

The other horse I like is Roc D'Apsis.  Despite having plenty of experience, he still isn't a fluid jumper but when he gets his act together he goes very well.  He won from the front when  winning at Stratford last October, and he can win from midfield as he did at Kempton in January.  I was also impressed by his effort over 3-mile at Kempton in February when staying-on from the rear to be 3rd to Theatre Guide in the Grade 3 Betbright Chase. He also goes well off a break, so I'm not bothered that he last ran in April.  Trainer Tom George has his stable running well, and I'm tempted to take a chance with Roc D'Apsis.

However, this does look a tricky handicap chase, and it would be no surprise to see The Tourard Man run another career-best today on ground he loves. There certainly wont be any hanging about in this race, and I shall await an easier target.

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