Rhys Williams returns for another week of racing tips with picks at Carlisle and Southwell, both available at big prices...
"I think the market is underestimating Native Choice's ability and he looks overpriced at anything over 14-1"
Native Choice looks a big price
The inner hurdles track is being used at Carlisle today and this is a much sharper track than the outer hurdles course. Horses that want further or show their lack of experience with poor jumping early on can quickly find themselves in trouble and some will no doubt fall into one of those two categories in the opening race today.
The market hasn't missed the chance of Word Has It and he's likely to make the running at a good pace. That will suit Native Choice, who has raced keenly in the past. He shaped with promise on debut in a bumper at Carlisle when he was a bit keen through the first half of the race and travelled smoothly to hit the front in the straight before not quite seeing it out.
On his hurdling debut at Wetherby, he again raced keenly early on and his jumping lacked fluency. While Dreams Of Home went further entering the home straight and Mont Segur went off in chase, Native Choice wasn't asked for his effort and was held together. He still had only been nudged along in third when landing awkwardly at 2 out and dropped away from that point.
He shaped much better than the result suggests at Wetherby and this race could suit him as he should be able to track Word Has It through the early stages and hopefully settle.
I think the market is underestimating his ability and he looks overpriced at anything over 14-1.
Checkitout a couple of ticks too big
Every horse in the first race at Southwell has questions to answer, whether it be over stamina, attitude under pressure, if they have suitably recovered from a very hard race or if they can bounce back from a below par run last time. The latter applies to Checkitout who ran poorly at Market Rasen last time. He did lose his left-fore shoe that day and landed awkwardly at the third in the back on the final circuit, after which he started to drop away, so there may be reasons for that performance.
Prior to that he had put in three good performances over fences and it looked like a victory wouldn't be far away. He contested a strong novices' handicap chase on his chasing debut at Uttoxeter. Having raced prominently, he was outpaced early in the home straight and then stayed on strongly late to finish fifth. The four horses ahead of him that day were Demachine (won next time and now rated 18lb higher), Morning Vicar (won next time), Young Bull (finished second at Demachine on only run since) and Northofthewall (may have won at Aintree next time but for falling and won on following start). The 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 15th have all won since too giving this form a very strong look.
Next time at Ludlow, Checkitout had moved into the lead shortly before entering the home straight and still looked to have plenty left when, as so many do, he paid the price for going too well and crumpled on landing at 4 out. The winner of that race since ran well behind St Barts at Newbury off 6lb higher. Checkitout followed that up with a good run in defeat at Bangor when second off 1lb higher than he races off today.
Checkitout's jumping hasn't been completely convincing as he's shown a habit of slightly backing off fences on occasions so this is a small concern today. I do, however, think that this race could set up ideally for him as he should be able to get a good lead from either Midnight Folie, Holdbacktheriver or Realm Keeper or, if none of those wish to make the running, he could do so himself.
I think the market has overreacted to one poor run last time and any 5-1 or bigger is appealing.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
P&L: +1.50 points