It’s been a fairly low-key week from a betting perspective, and as emphasised yesterday, this part of the flat season is more about accumulating information for later dates.
It is great racing however, and plenty to enjoy, savour and digest, and today will be no different, I’m sure. There were two horses that I was very keen on from the entry stage for today’s cards – tracker horses, if you will. Though I hate that term, as it lends itself to the notion that you have to back anything just because it’s in your horse tracker.
However, on this occasion, I feel both have cracking chances in their respective races, and given they are just a little on the skinny side, I think an each-way double on the pair is the way to go. It would pay just in excess of 12/1 for the win double at the advertised prices, and if they both only placed, then you would recoup your stake, plus just enough to buy the Friday night takeaway! If you wanted to have win singles as well, then so be it.
The first comes in the 2.40 at York – Matchbook Best Value Exchange Handicap, and is the David Menuisier-trained Blue Cup, who was mightily unlucky to run into traffic at Epsom on his seasonal debut. Given his trainer’s amazing ability to improve his horses markedly for their first run off a break, and with York’s open straight hopefully allaying any worries about traffic problems again, Blue Cup has a strong favourite’s chance to give Menuisier his second winner of the week.
At 3/1 with William Hill, who offer four places in the York 2.40, Blue Cup is to be doubled up with Proschema in the 6.25 at Aintree – Follow @RacingTV On Twitter Handicap Hurdle. Dan Skelton’s classy ex-flat racer is 9/4 with William Hill also, who are offering an industry exclusive five places on the race.
Stepped up to 2m4f for the first time over hurdles at Cheltenham in April, Proschema turned what looked a competitive race beforehand into a romp by the finish. For a 100+ rated flat horse, Proschema has been notably fluent over his hurdles, and given he stayed 2m well on the level, he was always going to improve as he stretched out in trip.
It is interesting to see the Skeltons go again with him at this stage of the season, as he could be one for a nice handicap next autumn, and given they don’t seem to be too worried about using up his appealing handicap mark, he could easily make up into a Stayers’ Hurdle horse next season.