Rory Delargy has three lay selections for Saturday
13:50 Gowran – Farclas
The conditions of the Red Mills Hurdle are all against last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas, and he should be taken on given he’s looked like he hasn’t progressed at all since last season. He is flattered to have finished as close as he did to Apple’s Jade at Leopardstown last time given he was merely closing up on horses who had been broken by the winner having not been asked to get competitive.
I’m sure Gordon Elliott will find a way to get him competitive again, but I very much doubt it will be at two miles in a tactical race, the son of Jukebox Jury looking likely to benefit from a step up in trip based on his pedigree and the way he’s been shaping. Blinkers could help, but are a gamble, and suggest that connections are losing patience.
Recommended: Lay Farclas for a place @ 2.75 or shorter to win 4pts [max 7pts liability]
13:55 Haydock – Kilcooley
It’s almost three years since Kilcooley last set foot on a racecourse, and the 8.0 put up about him in the Rendlesham Hurdle looks remarkably short given that fact. Yes, he looked good when beating Rock On Ruby on his penultimate start at Wetherby, but that was a different era, never mind another year.
He may retain the ability, but it is asking a hell of a lot for a staying hurdler to be competitive at Graded level given that length of time off the course. It’s also notable that he is racing without his usual tongue tie, which is hardly a positive sign.
Recommended: Lay Kilcooley for a place @ 3.5 or shorter to win 2pts [max 5pts liability]
15:00 Wincanton – Grand Sancy
As short as 4.0 in places to win the Kingwell Hurdle, Grand Sancy actually looks the weakest of the quintet. To demonstrate that, he was beaten off a handicap mark of 136 on his penultimate start, whereas ran outsider Unison, who is the winner of 15 races, was successful off a mark of 143 (and with some ease, too), and yet languishes unwanted at the bottom of the odds tree.
I’m not saying that Unison would give weight and a beating to Grand Sancy, but he’s actually receiving weight from the novice here, and the market looks a little upside down, even if you take the accepted view that Unison is best when conceding weight to inferior rivals. That may be so, but the overcorrection is palpable, and there are several likelier winners on form.
Recommended: Lay Grand Sancy for a place @ 2.75 or shorter to win 4pts [max 7pts liability]
On this week’s Horse Racing Podcast, your host Tom Stanley is joined by Sam Turner and Brendan Powell to look ahead to a bumper Ascot Card, the Grand National trial at Haydock and thoughts on a Percy-less Red Mills Chase.