Alan Dudman signs off from his latest stint with a lay and a back planned at Kelso, while he gives one more chance to Rock Steady at Lingfield on Thursday....
"A fast run 1m4f suits, but he has been seen off by two stronger stayers recently, and he collides with Watersmeet again today - however at 5.104/1 on the exchange, that is surely way too big for a horse with a chance. The lay should go in for insurance."
Trainer Nicky Richards has a nice prospect in Reivers Lad, and this big chasing type should relish the forecast heavy ground at Kelso on Friday. And whilst the trip for today might be short of his optimum, the taxing run-in with deep ground should see him in a better light.
He was a disappointing 8/15 favourite for his hurdling debut last time over 2m6f at Ayr, but the steady pace looked against him, and he probably needed the outing for his first run in nine months.
His bumper victory in 2016 marked him down as a horse with a future at Carlisle, and he saw out the stiff finish there really well to score with a bit in hand. His two other bumper defeats came when the tempo was a muddling one, so I'd like to see him ridden in a positive manner today.
One of the market principals Lycidas was a decent stayer on the Flat with a rating in the 90s, and with an official mark of 125, he sets the standard. However, he disappointed in a handicap last time at Doncaster, and I am convinced his preferred terrain would be far quicker than the heavy he could encounter here.
15:55 Lingfield - Charlton's runner to convert a good chance
My previous stint in the tipping chair included Rock Steady at Lingfield on the 21st January, and I might just blame him for the touch of seconditis that has plagued me recently. He finished second that afternoon and held every chance to go past Pinzolo in that 0-105 handicap. The assessor has raised him another 1lb, which means he is 25lb higher this year than he was for the start of 2016.
His record of finishing as the runner-up is becoming a problem, and that's now seven silver medals from 14 career starts. His consistency is admirable though, and I like the horse, as he holds a turn of foot for these small fields. But as Hercule Poirot once said: "One coincidence is just a coincidence, two is a clue, and three is proof."
How about seven?
Initially my thoughts were to back him, as his last two outings behind good horses looks decent form. However, he traded at 1.558/15 in-running last time, and previously hit a low of 1.3030/100 behind Watersmeet at Newcastle. That's the quandry.
He now has five odds-on defeats to his CV, and overall ten from 11 of his losses have dipped under his Betfair SP.
A fast run 1m4f suits, but he has been seen off by two stronger stayers recently, and he collides with Watersmeet again today - however at 5.104/1 on the exchange, that is surely way too big for a horse with a chance. The lay should go in for insurance.
Friday's Recommended Bets
Lay Lycidas in-play 1pt @ 1.715/7 in the 13:25 at Kelso
Back Reivers Lad 1pt @ 5/4 in the 13:25 at Kelso
Back Rock Steady 1pt @ 5.104/1 in the 15:55 at Lingfield
Alan's Bets of the Day - P/L
This week so far: -2.5pts
Previous week: -2.5pts