Date of Tips: 27/03/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:06 27/03/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
As a kid, I used to love seeing horses with a string of 1’s to their name – it appealed to my ordered mind and the perfectionist in me. So, before I delved deeper into the study of form, ground, pace, jockey, weather and draw biases as I got older, the appeal of backing horses who just won was much the highest.
Today’s selection would be a struggle for the kid that I was, as on the face of his form figures, the horse in question has tapered off slightly since a win over course and distance last November.
However, Leostar is available at 9/2 with William Hill for the opening race at 12.30 on Kelso’s cracking Saturday card, and despite being 7 runners, I am advising an each-way bet as there is only one horse that I can see who could lay a candle on a close to peak form Leostar. Being the slightly more comprehensive student that I am now, backing Leostar at 9/2 makes absolute sense to me, and here is why…
The run after the C&D win can be forgiven on heavy ground, and when you consider the three most recent starts, Leostar has been competitive and closely matched in those races with no fewer than 16 horses rated 120 or over. Today, he is up against a chaser reverting to hurdles rated 113 in the shape of Scoop The Pot, and five other rivals rated 108 or lower.
On the face of it, Leostar has dropped one rung from a class 3 at Ascot last time to a class 4 race today, but in reality, it is a much more significant drop in quality of rival up against him.
A slightly deeper delve into his last three runs, and they have all been massive efforts anyhow – most notably when only giving best late on, to classy staying novice hurdlers Threeunderthrufive and Fantastikas at Musselburgh over 3m. While the 8th place finish in the competitive handicap at Ascot last time is worth upgrading as Leostar raced on the unfavoured, chewed up inner section of the track that day, and yet still looked like playing a part in the finish until the turn in.
The cherry on the cake is the booking of Sean Quinlan, who is virtually peerless when it comes to tactics and current form.
The one potential blot on this plan is the unexposed handicap debutant Blazing Port, but he is inexperienced and needs to brush up his jumping, for all that the step up in trip will help him.