Date of Tips: 24/03/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:30 24/03/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The notion of finding a well-handicapped horse is the golden nugget for any punter, but the real magic combination is when that well-handicapped horse is sufficiently lowly rated to be running in a grade one or two notches below which it should really be competing in.
That is the real trick in finding horses who have a good chance of running well or winning in handicaps generally, as the odd pound or two extra here or there, is not going to outweigh many other more significant factors that can affect a horse race.
There is a horse running today in the 4.05 at Market Rasen, who is rated 128 over hurdles, and really could, and perhaps will be, rated 140+ in the future. It is Fantastikas, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who is available at 15/8 with William Hill. You are clearly not going to go rich backing winners at this price, but it is certainly better than the alternative of not backing winners.
Somewhat underwhelming in bumpers, he began his hurdling career in solid if unspectacular fashion at Stratford, with a decent second place finish. On his next two starts, he again filled the runner-up spot, and suddenly for a horse with the form figures of 272-222, the mudslinging could potentially begin as to why Fantastikas hadn’t yet got his head in front.
The last two of those ‘2’s however, he was just chinned by the Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Barbados Buck’s and Threeunderthrufive, who both ran in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Clearly both runs were notable efforts, in particular the Musselburgh second to Threeunderthurfive as it was run in a strikingly quick time.
Fantastikas duly took the opportunity to hurl the mud back at the naysayers with a resounding victory over an inadequate 2m3f trip at Fontwell next time. Stepped back into handicap company off his mark of 128, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has found a suitable 0-130 handicap at Market Rasen at 4.05 this afternoon.
At 15/8, Fantastikas looks rock solid, and will find the biggest challenge coming from either Fawsley Spirit or Highway One O One, but I fully expect Fantastikas to keep pulling out more in the closing stages of the near-3m trip.