Betfred November Handicap
Betfred November Handicap …with the last favourite to win being in 1995 and the average SP of the winner this century is just over 16/1.
Finding a decent value ante-post proposition is decidedly less tricky than trying to predict who will come out on top, and it is on that quest which we shall concentrate.
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Currently heading the market is Rae Guest’s Headline News at 11/1. He’s probably worth of market leadership based on his 2 wins from 3 in his last outings over 1of on this surface. Jack Garrity takes a valuable 5lb off.
Low Key has charted a fairly unusual course to Saturday’s race. In fact, going from job horse for the Barney Curley coup back in January to being trained on the Flat by David Pipe and owned by his father Martin is about as unorthodox a route as you’re likely to get. He was last seen recording a facile win at Newbury on his first run for the Pond House team and although he’s entitled to come on for the run having had nine months off, it would be a big step up to win this. Doubting the consistency of a horse on a hat-trick bid may sound strange but there are clearly extenuating circumstances for his last two wins and as Low Key is yet to confirm whether he can stand his racing, there looks no value in his current price.
The horse who looks the best value at time of writing is First Mohican, who has something of a score to settle with this race having lost his unbeaten record in it two years ago. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and there are a number of reasons to suggest he could gain compensation at the weekend. The first is his proven record fresh, which will stand him in good stead as he was last seen finishing down the field in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot, when he shaped as if amiss. The next is he’s likely to encounter ground with some cut in it, conditions in which he’s traditionally put up his best performances.
First Mohican also represents a trainer in red-hot form in Alan King and is just 2 lb above his last winning mark, which Louis Steward’s unnecessary 3-lb claim will pretty much negate, anyway. Steward is no stranger to big handicap success having ridden the winners of the Ebor and Cambridgeshire already this season and providing First Mohican is fit and firing, it would be no surprise to see him add Saturday’s contest to his haul. At any rate, thepriced 25/1 with SkyBet available at time of writing looks outstanding each-way value.
There are plenty of others who deserve consideration, not least Esteaming after he shaped better than the bare result at York last time. He paid a heavy price for coming from too far back on that occasion and given he has proven form on soft going and looks very leniently treated on the pick of his form, he could easily run well.
Daaree can’t be ignored either given he comes into contest on the back of three straight wins and has a record of five wins from eight starts so far. He’s versatile with regards to trip and ground, is clearly improving fast and looks likely to run his race. However, this represents by far his stiffest task to date and 16/1 looks a little too skinny despite his progressive profile.
Ennistown won for us at the first time of asking at Pontefract this year, then disappointed next time out at Newbury. She definitely acts on the surface and trainer Charlie Appleby is flying at the moment. The booking of William Buick is a positive and is a monster each-way of topweight at 40/1.
Perhaps it’s a contradiction in terms to end an ante-post preview by advising a cautious approach, but we are in one of the periods of the year when the form book can often appear a little out of sync. With First Mohican and Ennistown we not only have a couple of sensible bets for Saturday’s race, but at decent value as well.
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