Looking back on Friday’s selection, I was very happy to see the amount of money on Isolate. It gave me the impression that he was going to outrun the early morning odds that I had initially put him up at. However, he was far too keen yet again and I was highly fortunate to collect a place on him given the fall of his stablemate at the final flight of hurdles.
It was a step in the right direction and after giving yesterday a wide berth, I am looking to return today and hopefully select a horse that has a very good chance of running well under these conditions.
As a jumps fan, I am absolutely spoilt for choice for options tomorrow as both Kilbeggan and Perth host competitive jumps meetings. The standard of the card at Perth is excellent for this time of year and the feature race at 4.20 is where today’s selection comes from.
This open looking handicap chase sees Potterman return, for the first time since his controversial win in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. However, he was fortuitous that day to be awarded the race in the stewards room and gives off signs that he may want a bit further than a sharp 3m at Perth will offer him. At a general price of 11/2 and favourite on most boards, I think he is worth taking on even though he has only been raised a pound in the weights.
His perennial rival, El Presente faces him again for Kim Bailey, who wasn’t quite able to uphold form with Potterman from Wincanton previously in the season when winning. El Presente just weakened out of the frame at Sandown in that end of season handicap, but ran a race of terrific credit and is certainly not without his chance today.
However, my selection comes in the form of The Butcher Said for Olly Murphy and the McNeill family. I am sure that they had hoped that this horse may have claimed a big handicap prize by now, but the big pot continues to elude him. I have a feeling that today might be his day and with conditions sure to suit, looks a bet to me.
It has always been made abundantly clear that this horse wants a sounder surface to operate to his best and his summer form of six wins and a second from seven outings in the last two seasons would indicate this. This is his time of the year to strike and with the Perth course likely to play into his strengths, could take some pegging back in this.
So far in his handicap career, it has been a lack of fluency in the jumping stakes that has cost him, given he often travels well but needs to be held up. The risks attached with a horse like this are big, but when it clicks, he could through a field very easily and is well handicapped to go and do so.
Off the same mark of 135 when he made eye-catching late gains at Ayr on his second start after a wind operation, I think today might well be the time for The Butcher Said to get that big handicap pot. At a best price of 7/1 with Bet365, I make him an Each Way bet today with four places available with all firms. Best of luck.