13:15 Huntingdon Tue 26 December 2017

  • Fairfax Saddles Handicap Hurdle (Class 4)
  • 2m 4f 145y, Good to Soft (Soft in places)
  • 15 Runners
  • Winner£5,198.002nd£1,526.003rd£763.004th£382.00
  • Surface: Turf
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Weighed In

Winning time:5m 18.6sOff time:13:15:25
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1
412-0OR: 112
33/1

Scored over this trip in July at Worcester and followed up over shorter at Uttoxeter but has gone off the boil since and finished well held on his last two starts. Remains 9lb above his last winning mark and faces a tough task off top weight here; cheekpieces on for first time.

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2
511-13OR: 111
10/1

Looks to have been brought along steadily in novice hurdles with handicaps very much in mind and the end game. Mot knocked around in any of his three hurdles starts and now sets out in handicaps of an opening mark of 111; has potential and should be watched in the market.

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3
711-12OR: 110
25/1

Her form over hurdles has a rather up-and-down profile running her best race on her penultimate start at Worcester in May (only headed near the finish). Typically though she failed to build on that run and she now returns from an absence with something to prove.

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4
611-12OR: 110BFD
9/4

Had often left the impression he could be capable of better but showed massive improvement on his first run for this yard under positive tactics at Plumpton winning by 30L. Was well-in under a penalty but ran into one last time and still worth viewing positively off this mark.

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5
511-12OR: 110C
8/1

A switch of stables saw him show improved form to land a novice over 2m here last year started 50/1 but that looked no fluke. Unseated his rider on handicap debut and shaped like he needed the run last time after a break; this run may tell us more.

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7
511-11OR: 109
13/2

Comes from a yard in good form and hasn't had much chance to reveal his potential over hurdles. Shaped quite nicely last time out back from a break only passing beaten horses in the end but suggesting he could go close off this mark.

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8
711-10OR: 108
7/1

Was gambled on when having his final run for his previous yard looking to turn in a decent if rather laboured effort at Bangor over 2m. That promise was backed up on his initial run for this yard after a break and he remains one to keep an eye on.

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9
511-10OR: 108
10/1

Didn't quite build on the promise he showed on his hurdles debut in two further runs in the spring. Given a break and moved in to handicaps on his last start he was given a very considerate ride by a 10lb claimer; remains unexposed and could yet do better.

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10
611-7OR: 105
50/1

Won a couple of novice hurdles when with Warren Greatrex but was found out on his hurdles debut for the same yard on his last outing for them. Only had one run over hurdles for this yard (three over fences) bur struggled for the most part and others have a better chance here.

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11
411-4OR: 102
20/1

Looks to be the sort that this yard do well with but as yet he's not really made an impression with his initial mark looking a little high. Appeared to perform a little better over C&D last time off this mark (jumped well) but this looks a deeper contest.

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12
911-4OR: 102
20/1

Has been fairly useful in the past over hurdles and fences but has lost his way in the past 12 months. Back from a break last time but was off the bridle fairly early in the race and hard to recommend off the back of such a poor run.

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13
511-1OR: 99
12/1

A winner over fences earlier in the year his jumping got worse and worse in that sphere and he was returned to hurdles last time. That didn't really appear to work though and he still looked out of sorts and one to oppose.

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14
711-1OR: 99
33/1

Seen to have shown some ability over hurdles but has still been dropped 8lb from her opening hurdles mark but has still to match her useful bumper form in this sphere. Will look well handicapped if she does but ran poorly last time and best watched for now.

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15
711-0OR: 98CD
8/1

In good form at the start of the year showing plenty for pressure on two occasions to win handicaps over shorter trips off much lower marks. Return to winning form dovetailed with the yard showing more and despite an 8lb rise for latest win he should remain competitive.

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16
410-2OR: 86
33/1

Tried over a longer trip last time but looked beaten by more than a lack of stamina (never travelling well). Blinkers now go on for the first time in an effort to find some form but more required even with the handicapper cutting her some slack.

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Non-Runners

6
Occasionally Yours35
1311-11OR: 109
T: A BlackmoreJ: Mr Alex Ferguson

Last Year's Winner

DRAWHORSEAWGTSP
Miss Tongabezi711-49/1
T: P R WebberJ: Fergus Gregory

Betting

Forecast

Smart Boy (9/4), Sneaking Budge (13/2), Road To Rome (7/1), Occasionally Yours (7/1), Galactic Power (8/1), Finula (8/1), Cloth Cap (10/1), Milzipa (10/1), Seven Kingdoms (12/1), Daveron (20/1), Free Bounty (20/1), Marvellous Monty (25/1), Sisania (33/1), Alizee Javilex (33/1), Stonecoldsoba (33/1), Postbridge (50/1)

Verdict

This may not be as competitive as the numbers suggest with Smart Boy and Milzipa two that could well improve on what they have done so far with that duo deserving of their position towards the head of the market. Of those with more handicap form Galactic Power may well still be able to offer a little more with Sneaking Budge another contender who looks to have more to offer in this sphere. Road To Rome is starting to look interesting and this run will tell us more about his mark and where he stands at the moment. CLOTH CAP is perhaps the most fascinating runner though having been brought on steadily in novice company and looks very much the sort to show more now he goes into handicaps.
  1. Cloth Cap
  2. Smart Boy
  3. Sneaking Budge

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