Rhys Williams had a 9/2 winner with his only selection yesterday and has four more picks over jumps today...
"This race could set up ideally for him as there are plenty of front runners which could result in a very strongly run race and turn it into a test of stamina."
Return to far more suitable ground
Filon d'Oudairies has been very inconsistent through his career so far and I think he's capable of bouncing back this afternoon on handicap chase debut after finishing tailed off in his last four starts.
He won a maiden hurdle on good ground at Limerick on his first start of last season beating Bentham, who beat Belfast Banter in his next start.
However, since then all of his runs have come on soft or heavy ground and he's finished well beaten but has still shown ability. He ran well for a long way on his next start over hurdles in a handicap at Galway before fading late on, after which his attentions were switched to chasing.
He dropped away on the run to 2 out on chasing debut at Galway and then ran a similar race on both starts in beginners chases at Navan. On both occasions, he raced some way behind the leaders early on before making headway towards the end of the back straight. That continued racing across the top of the course before he weakened out of contention from 3 out.
Filon d'Oudairies was in far stronger company in those races than the opposition he faces today and he's been given a mark 11lb lower than his hurdle rating which seems quite generous.
It may be that he's just a very weak finisher and he won't even see out this 2m½f on good ground but I expect him to be ridden handier today (tracking likely front runners Jack Holiday and Western Sea would be ideal) and he has a good chance of getting off the mark over fences under these conditions. Any 5/1 or bigger appeals.
Likely very strong pace to suit
My Bobby Dazzler was a winner over C&D four weeks ago and he looks to have a very good chance of following up on handicap debut.
He showed a very willing attitude, a need for a good test of stamina and a good level of ability in points and that's showed under rules. He unsurprisingly found two miles too sharp in his first two starts but shaped eye-catchingly at Huntingdon behind Grisbi De Berce.
On his latest start over C&D, he raced idly in front for much of the race which resulted in the race being slowly run. He was shaken up going to 3 out and got in a bit tight before being driven along more firmly while his nearest challengers were travelling better. However, he found plenty and went on to win by 2¼ lengths.
He's been given a rating of 114 which I think could underplay his ability as he's yet to have a scenario under rules that has allowed him to show his full ability.
Although he set the pace last time, his idleness meant Alex Edwards couldn't get him to go quickly enough to suit the horse and his previous two runs came over a trip much shorter than ideal.
This race could set up ideally for him as there are plenty of front runners which could result in a very strongly run race and turn it into a test of stamina. And this will allow Alex Edwards to track the pace rather than needing to set it.
I think My Bobby Dazzler is open to more improvement than his rivals and I think he should be favourite. Any 5/2 or bigger appeals.
Physique to make a hurdler
Koi Dodville is a very short-priced favourite for this juvenile hurdle after winning the first British juvenile hurdle of the season at Hexham. However, I think he hardly sets a formidable standard based on that run and the blinkers that he wore in France now go back on.
When horses are switched from the flat to jumping, sometimes it's due to them not being quick enough for the flat or having reached their level and can't go any further. In other cases, it's because they have the physique for jumping, which I think is the case with Spanish Hustle and Boundsy Boy in this race. While I think the market has accurately identified Spanish Hustle's chance, I think that's not the case with Boundsy Boy.
He ran three times on the flat as a two-year-old for Richard Fahey and had a very inconsistent profile. He was very green on debut at Musselburgh and finished tailed off before running far better at Newcastle over seven furlongs. He was bumped slightly at the start and raced at the back of the field early on. Niggled along with three furlongs to go, he gradually stayed on while still looking a bit uncoordinated and finished 3¼ lengths behind the winner in fifth.
He was given a mark of 63 for that and made his nursery debut at Ripon. He was briefly shaken along early on and looked quite awkward on the bend before completely failing to handle the undulations and finished tailed off.
Boundsy Boy was bought for only £1,500 after that and moved to Oliver Greenall. He's since been gelded and had a wind op and now races in a tongue tie for the first time.
He looked a big gangly two-year-old who didn't have a clue what he was supposed to be doing and I wouldn't be surprised if he's improved plenty mentally and physically for the long break.
There is, of course, the chance that he will always be uncoordinated and that he won't remotely take to hurdling and ran awfully.
However, in a very weak race I can't let him go unbacked at that price given the potential for improvement and any 12/1 or bigger appeals.
More promise in latest run than margin beaten suggests
This two-mile handicap chase looks a wide-open contest and I think Boagrius looks capable of building on the promise of his latest start at Warwick.
He had a disappointing 2020/21 season but his run at Warwick over 2m4f was more encouraging. He raced prominently and wide from the start until taking the lead at the tenth fence. He then got into a battle with Somekindofstar turning towards the line of fences coming back towards the stands and they went clear of the rest of the field. However, the chasing group had closed right on to their backs by the last of those fences and after being pushed along on the final bend, Boagrius dropped away to finish a well-beaten fourth.
That run showed that Boagrius still had some life in him after some poor efforts and he ran better than the finishing position suggests considering the battle he got into with Somekindofstar, with the 3lb drop looking quite generous given the circumstances.
That race was also over further than ideal for him as he's always looked a two-miler and now comes back down in trip to his ideal distance.
Given his inconsistent profile there's a chance that he could revert back to a less enthusiastic effort and run poorly but in a race where nothing looks particularly well handicapped, he appeals at 13/2 or bigger.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
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