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Horse Racing

Hereford – Tuesday 4th January 2022

Tuesday 4th January 14:50

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides his daily selection, a lovely 11/2 each-way bet at Hereford.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Family Pot 11/2 each-way (5 places)
Hereford 14.50
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 04/01/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:40 04/01/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Inevitably, after a hectic Festive period, early January is a time when many will slow down a touch. Rightly so, as for the first time in years, I can’t recall more than one meeting that was abandoned due to wintry weather over the last few weeks.

COVID and various lockdowns last winter allowed plenty to slow down also, but not Brecon trainer Sheila Lewis, as despite her beauty treatment business hitting the buffers, it allowed her to spend more time on the slightly unexpected side business of training thoroughbred racehorses!

Between September and March, the core of last jumps season, she was operating at a 29% winning strike rate – 12 wins from 42 runners. Quite extraordinary, and while the early season this time around has seen slimmer pickings, there are signs with some of her horses that she could be about to enter another purple patch.

The starting point for such an eruption in form, the likes of which Volcano, Straw Fan Jack, Cotton End and Knight Commander contributed to last season, I’m hoping will be the Free Replays On attheraces.com Handicap Chase at Hereford at 2.50 today.

Lightly raced staying chaser Family Pot has already notched up a win for Lewis this season, when slightly fortunate to capitalise on the falls of a couple of his rivals on chasing debut at Ludlow. But he jumped proficiently and stayed well, which allowed him to pick up the pieces somewhat.

At 11/2 each-way with Bet365, who offer 5 places, Family Pot can notch up win number two of his career, back up at a trip in excess of 3m again, after two very encouraging runs at shorter.

In particular, his last run in a classy 4-runner novices’ limited handicap chase, where he was a predictable but very creditable third behind two much classier rivals. Scene Not Herd and Minella Trump pulled clear of Family Pot at Ludlow over 2m4f two weeks ago in the manner that many expected them to.

But the framing of the race meant that Family Pot emerged with huge credit, as he was a whopping 41lbs out of the handicap. Now, on many occasions, runs like this can prove to be a bit of a flash in the pan.

But there is rock solid evidence to suggest that this was not one of those occasions. Family Pot, running in a 0-100 handicap today from a mark of 88, ran the final circuit at Ludlow 13 days ago in an almost identical time to that which Not Available and Gumball (rated 130 and 141) did in the 2m handicap chase, and only just a smidgeon slower than Head To The Stars and Didero Vallis (rated 129 and 135) did in the 3m handicap chase.

Visual evidence backed up by quantifiable proof on the clock that Family Pot could easily prove much better than the grade he contests today, and so should be backed at 11/2 each-way with Bet365 for the 2.50 at Hereford.

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