Racing tip of the day
Our sportinglife racing team are hoping a change of tactics can bring about a change of fortune for their tip of the day.
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Whenever I see the name Ubaldo Des Menhies I think of his fictional countrymen Asterix and Obelix for no other reason than a childish word association which undoubtedly says more about my general ignorance and preferences in literature than anything else.
Ubaldo des Menhies: 3.15 Ffos Las
The five year old won't have to perform weight carrying feats of Obelix's menhir delivery despite the burden of top-weight and nor will he require a superhuman performance to defy a handicap mark of 125, 3lbs lower than his initial rating in this country, in a race where most of the runners have questions to answer.
Running in the Million In Mind colours for Oliver Sherwood last season, his stand out performance was a close second to the - now - 137 rated Pine Creek with the pair pulling a long way clear of the third.
He's struggled to match that performance at Doncaster and has been a long way below that level in two runs for his current connections who stumped up 55,000 guineas for him in May, a marked increase on the 30,000 euros paid for him the previous year.
That seems a little surprising but it does suggest that there was plenty of interest in this Network gelding with the belief that there is better to come.
A hallmark of his races both last season and in France was his aggressive front-running style yet he has been dropped out at the back of the field in both starts for Jonjo O'Neill in races far more competitive than this.
There is some pace in the Pennant Walters Handicap Hurdle with Act Of Kalanisi expected to force it reverting to the minimum over hurdles but there isn't an overabundance.
There is a good deal of conjecture involved but it wouldn't surprise to see more forceful tactics adopted on this galloping circuit where O'Neill and jockey Tony McCoy have impressive strike-rates.
In turn, it wouldn't surprise if a change in tactics brought about a significantly improved performance and, with conditions to suit, and 8/1 available in places in a race that looks there for the taking, I'm prepared to throw caution to the wind.