Plump for Williams' Guydus
Ben Linfoot picks out a bet of the day, a longshot, a horse in focus and a special to consider.
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For the bet of the day we go to Plumpton and the G.E. White & Sons Agricultural Buildings Handicap Chase at 2.05. The 3m2f trip is going to take some getting in heavy ground and course and distance winner Guydus looks well equipped to deal with the conditions. Venetia Williams' Old Vic mare goes well on heavy ground, she stays well and is in the form of her life after two wins and a second from her last four runs. She ran a cracker last time at Folkestone behind Spot The Ball off a mark off 88 and while she is 1lb out of the handicap today both Harry Challoner's claim and the combination of ground and trip make it insignificant. Her main rivals are Brunette'sonly and Bally Gunner, with the latter set a tough task off top weight while the former keeps on getting beat of her career-high mark.
The Paul Webber-trained, JP McManus-owned Cantlow looks one to keep an eye on today. He ran on behind the talented Sire De Grugy in a novices' chase over two miles at Lingfield last time, shaping like a horse who could do with a pretty drastic step up to the sort of trips over which he was campaigned as a hurdler. He has been moved up in distance today, but by just a furlong, and he has a tough task on his hands to beat Nicky Henderson's Oscara Dara. However, while even though Cantlow might not have the speed to get his nose in front today, he looks an interesting one for future handicaps over further and we will be watching his effort with a keen interest.
Is a 9/1 chance a longshot? Probably not, but when he's the outsider of a field of six I think we can get away with it. Evan Williams' seven year old has form in heavy ground from his days with Tony Martin and he's gone very well at Ffos Las on both runs at the track. He won a novices' chase at the Welsh course in June last year and then was third behind Le Beau Bai in a handicap hurdle at the track last month - and that was a nice run with a view to his return over fences. He took so well to chasing in the summer of 2011 (he beat Mad Moose by 18 lengths at Ffos Las and Nigel Twiston-Davies' horse is rated 138 over fences now) that he could be well handicapped over the larger obstacles, especially considering his encouraging recent run over hurdles. At the very least, I don't think he should be the outsider of the six.
This contest looks between Leviathan and Military Precision and the former shaped very well on his hurdling debut for Venetia Williams. He travelled very well when third behind Pentra at Plumpton and looks well up to winning this. David Pipe's Military Precision has a long absence to overcome and while you won't find many two-mile hurdles being won by over 10 lengths, at almost 2/1 I wouldn't mind having a few quid on this race being one of them.