Racing tip of the day
Ben Linfoot likes the look of a Mark Johnston-trained horse at an attractive each-way price at Newbury this afternoon.
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TORCHLIGHTER - 3.40 Newbury
It's that time of year when the jumping game and the Flat game fight for our affections. I find it very hard to concentrate on both and at the start of the day I have to decide whether I've got my Flat or my jumping head on. Today I went to the drawer marked 'Flat Head' and it's to Newbury we go for the tip of the day.
Having made one decisive decision early doors another one in quick succession was always unlikely and original tip of the day, Leo Luna, has been crossed out with red pen in preference of one that is twice the price I thought it would be.
I'll briefly discuss Leo Luna, though. He'll probably win. He runs in the 230 on his handicap debut on the level for Gary and Ryan Moore and on his hurdles form he could be chucked in off a mark of 76. Newbury, with it's long, galloping home straight, is a fair track that will offer no excuses for the best horse, or the best handicapped horse, in the race.
Around 3/1 at the time of writing, he could be a 9/4 or 2/1 winner but I'd rather roll the dice considering TORCHLIGHTER is 20/1 and I cannot fathom why.
Mark Johnston's horse runs in the 3.40, the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap, and I can only think that the presence of a whole host of unexposed contenders from some of the major stables account for the market neglect.
But this son of Shamardal looks the type to improve greatly as a three-year-old and his juvenile form wasn't too bad either. A winner on his third start in a Pontefract maiden, he also excelled in nursery company when a neck second at Doncaster off 83 on his final start.
He saw his race out really well that day, as you can see by watching the video replay, and the step back up to seven holds no fears. His experience should hold him in good stead against some lightly-raced rivals and a mark of 87 may underestimate his abilities looking at his overall profile.
At around 20/1, he's certainly worth an each-way investment. I really thought he would be a 10/1 or 12/1 chance, but considering his connections the drift doesn't bother me at all - like I said, I just think it might be a bit of neglect in reaction to support for others.
We will see!