WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two each-way selections for the sponsored card at Fontwell Park on Wednesday 20th October
Paddy Power Irish Cambridgeshire – 3.40
Date of Tips: 26/08/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (19:50 26/08/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Quite how Njord didn’t win on either or both of his two starts at the Galway Festival a few weeks ago, I’ll never know – and I imagine his connections can’t quite fathom it either. An agonising nose second to the Ado McGuinness-trained Salstonstall in the Topaz Mile over 1m on the Tuesday was followed up by a luckless neck second to another McGuinness horse, in the shape of Current Option, in the Ahonoora Handicap over 7f.
Since joining Jessie Harrington and before his Galway travails, Njord had been a comfortable winner of two decent handicaps, meaning his rating since he entered handicap company has risen from 61, when with previous trainer Sheila Lavery, to a mountainous 104 – which is what he competes off in the Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh on Friday. But at odds of 13/2 with Coral, Njord rates as a very solid each-way bet to prove that he can improve again.
Many punters will point to his inability to get the job done off lower handicap marks at Galway, and struggle to see why you should be backing him at a relatively short price in such a competitive handicap, off his inflated rating. But each Galway run suggested strongly that there could be more to come, and given the nature of Friday’s race, there looks to be a perfect set-up for Njord to bag the big one that he has found just out of his grasp, until now.
The ground at the Curragh is currently describe as ‘soft, soft to heavy in places,’ and with heavy thundery showers set to hit the track on Thursday, you’d be surprised if the ground wasn’t edging towards heavy come Friday. On ground described as ‘yielding’ or worse, Njord has never been out of the first three, and in two starts on ‘soft to heavy,’ he has notched up two facile wins. Put simply, he is a very classy animal, who simply loves soft ground. Given heavy conditions, there is the quite likely proposition of Njord being even better.
Given he is a two-time course winner also, 1m looks to be his optimum trip, and with a lovely ground-saving, energy-conserving draw in stall 7, and there is a tick in every imaginable box. 13/2 looks like a steal to my eye, and I can see him going off a fair bit shorter come the day. You are only getting 4 places for each-way terms with Coral, as opposed to some other firms who offer five or six, but I feel the price is just too good to miss out on.
Just as long as one of the three Ado McGuinness horses don’t chin him again!