Rhys Williams has analysed Monday's racing and has one selection at Southwell.
"Titaneasy was beaten 29 lengths in a bumper at Kempton last time and it’s no doubt that form which has caused him to be ignored in the market."
Return to left-handed track will suit
Glencassley is the odds-on favourite for the four-runner novices' hurdle at Southwell and with good reason having run so well in the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree. Rather than side with him at a short price or look to oppose him, I think there's an appealing opportunity in the without the favourite market.
Imperial Hope is currently a very short-priced favourite in this market but I'm not convinced that's justified. He is 2 from 2 in his career having won an Irish point and a bumper at Doncaster. He may have been a shade fortunate to win the Irish point when Findthetime came down at the last, although Imperial Hope did stay on to catch Planned Paradise on the run in so that's up for debate.
It seemed the initial plan at Doncaster was to hold him up and try to settle him but Brendan Powell took the smart option to let him stride on and try to settle him in front. The stamina he showed in his point win was put to good use as he held off Toutatis and Presenting Pete in the closing stages. The worry is the strength of that bumper. Toutatis and Presenting Pete had run against each other on debut in an all-weather bumper and finished second and third but Toutatis was comfortably held in sixth in a bumper at Taunton after, while Presenting Pete was beaten 16 lengths in a bumper at Southwell last week. There's also a slight concern as to whether 2m at a sharp track will be enough of a test for him, although I expect the plan this time will be to make the running from the start to try to make it a test. For a horse who is a such a short price in this market, there are enough doubts over him to think he's opposable.
Methusalar is second in and he shaped quite well on hurdling debut at Huntingdon. He raced keenly early on and was still in touch at 3 out before dropping away quickly in the straight. A possible good pace today should help him to settle better early on, although I think he will want a stiffer test of stamina to be seen at his best so this may be too sharp for him.
It's the outsider of three in this market who appeals. Titaneasy was beaten 29 lengths in a bumper at Kempton last time and it's no doubt that form which has caused him to be ignored in the market. However, he hung left the whole way and was nearly unrideable so it's easy to forgive such a disappointing run and he now returns to a left-handed track.
Prior to that, he showed ability in two bumpers including one at this track on his first start for Noel Williams. He raced very keenly under restraint early on in a steadily-run race and he was still taking a good hold going down the back on the final circuit. He turned out of the back straight in second last and still had plenty of ground to make up turning into the home straight. He was angled inside to get a run and then Connor Brace was looking to angle back outside to get a run but that was blocked so had to wait to go inside again and he gradually stayed on late to finish fourth.
While the winner of that race hasn't run too well over hurdles since, that's been due to poor jumping so that can be excused. The runner up is now rated 118 over hurdles, the third was narrowly beaten in a bumper at Worcester and the fifth has since won a bumper at Plumpton.
Titaneasy then ran in an all-weather bumper at Lingfield. He was keen and wide for much of the race, which is about the worst thing to possibly be in an all-weather bumper, but still managed to hit the front a furlong out before weakening out of contention and finishing sixth.
A hood goes on for the first time today, which will hopefully help him settle better. There is the unknown over how Titaneasy will take to hurdling and it may be that he will end up being better suited by running on the flat rather than over jumps but he's shown too much ability to not back him at 10/1 in the without the favourite market.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
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