With radio silence on the Irish racing replays front, Irish form study is difficult just now so in respect the Clonmel card, I'll leave it well alone. A tricky Leicester card along with small fields at Catterick leave just one bet in the eight runner 3.15pm at the latter...
3.15 - Lough Kent E/w 17/2
84 rated Baratineur is menacingly weighted off 10st 1lb for Catterick’s 3.15pm handicap hurdle, on the back of a fair 2nd when an 11/8 beaten favourite over the course and distance on New Year’s Day. It is encouraging that Life Knowledge - the 3rd in that race - turned out quickly with a really good effort at Musselburgh the other day, especially with Baratineur remaining on the same mark. He looks quite well handicapped, but is essentially a limited performer and I’m not afraid to have a pop at him. Flowery is second in the betting having won on soft ground over 2m4f at Sedgefield last time out, but that test versus a sharp two miles around Catterick today is quite the contrast and he wouldn’t really be for me in the 9/2-5/1 range at the time of writing. Canadian George is next in at 11/2 and might have more to offer, but he was well held here the last day and I’m not sure he’s cut out for the jumps game on pedigree and flat form over around a mile.
So, the one I’m backing is Jimmy Moffatt’s Lough Kent, formerly a decent and actually very promising horse for Nicky Henderson, who finds himself operating today from a BHA handicap rating of just 109. He is clearly not the horse he once was ability wise and has been largely disappointing, but he is a lovely looking animal, more than capable of putting together a sound shift in this sort of company. He was rated 119 over hurdles as recently as July 2018. His best recent run was three starts back at Cartmel when he wore a visor for the first time and finished a good 2nd to Wells De Lune, who rather got away from the field a little easier than one would like to see under a canny front running ride. But Lough Kent kept on well and runs in first time blinkers today, so perhaps we can see something like the best he has to offer at this stage of his career under 7lb claimer Charlotte Moffatt. That would be enough to see him run well after an Autumn break here, with the handicapper dropping him 3lb since his latest Perth run and the ground remaining in his favour. It is just a personal preference all told, but I’d like to see him race more prominent early on, especially around here, but as I say it is not the strongest contest in the world and at 17/2 in a few places, the ten-year-old is a solid E/w proposition with the dead eight runners.
All prices correct at the time of publication in the GG Tips Den, per the top/joint top prices available on the GG.CO.UK Racecards.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
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