WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two each-way selections for the sponsored card at Fontwell Park on Wednesday 20th October
Date of Tips: 23/04/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:51 23/04/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
One of the knacks of successful punting is being ahead of the curve – ready to take advantage of when a horse or trainer is about to hit that magical notion of form.
I’ve lost count of the number of times when I’ve been one or two runs too far ahead of that particular curve, when backing certain horses under a certain set of circumstances which I felt were advantageous. Only for the horse to display more evidence on it’s next few starts, before eventually duly winning, (when not carrying my cash!)
Today’s daily selection could easily fall into that ‘too early’ category, but there is just enough evidence and most importantly, juice on his price, to suggest that it is worth backing Balkalin at 16/1 each-way with Bet365, in the first division of a novices’ handicap hurdle at 4.20 at Perth this afternoon.
A striking physical specimen, he has clearly been difficult to keep sound. As, since showing significant promise in his bumpers over in Ireland, he has had a long period off the track, to re-appear with two highly promising runs for Maurice Barnes at Newcastle last month.
Those two runs meant the handicapper was then obliged to allot him a handicap mark, which is a rather lenient looking 101. Thus, he begins handicap life in the 0-105 grade, potentially a significant underplay of the ability that Balkalin inherently has.
Balkalin’s last run over 2m at Newcastle was highly noteworthy with respect to his chances today – always travelling well in a breakaway group of four, in a well-run race, he faded slightly in the home straight and wasn’t given a hard time in doing so, eventually finishing a one-paced fourth.
The winner Dreams Of Home is rated 130, the runner-up Coolkill won in impressive fashion at Perth yesterday, and the fifth Shaka The King ran a race suggesting he was way ahead of his initial handicap mark of 95, next time out.
That Balkalin was able to lay up easily with the 130-rated winner, the subsequent winning runner-up and the unexposed third Robin Des Theatre, suggests that he is going to better than the grade he faces on his handicap debut at 4.20 at Perth today.
Stepping up in trip today will also suit, and looking at Maurice Barnes’ strike-rate over the last few years, he always displays a spike in April/May/June – at 16/1 each-way with Bet365, there is more than enough to recommend a wager to find out if today is the day that Balkalin‘s and Barnes’ stars align.