Rhys Williams' Monday Racing Tips: White Moon to shine back over fences

Our racing expert has two selections at Taunton and Stratford

Rhys Williams has two fancies for Monday's racing at Taunton and Stratford.

"Wincanton is a tough jumping test so he will prefer the slightly easier demands of Taunton, particularly in a small field where there's likely to be less pressure on his jumping."

Hazzaar to improve for fences

Stratford 13.00: Hazzaar 1pt win 6/1

Hazzaar has yet to reach the level he once promised to early in his career but I think the switch to fences could start to see that potential be realised.

Having been moved back to Tom Lacey's yard, he ran well on his first start of the season at Cheltenham when finishing a close fifth having been less advantageously positioned than the first four home given the pace.

Raised 2lb for that, he again ran well in defeat at Doncaster. Having travelled well behind the leader for a long way, he jumped into a share of the lead at 3 out and was still upsides at 2 out. Under strong pressure, he was headed between the last two hurdles but still jumped the last in a share of second until fading on the run in.

Hazzaar was a bit disappointing on his most recent outing at Musselburgh but I think that track over hurdles was unsuitable for him. He may also have not reacted to the first time cheekpieces as hoped as they have been taken off today.

Having been sent off joint favourite for that competitive handicap hurdle, it's surprising that he's available at 6-1 today given the opposition. Shut The Box has run well on his last two starts over fences but he's gone up another 2lb for the latest effort and I wasn't completely convinced by his finishing effort that day. Kap Auteuil is second favourite having hacked up at Fakenham last time. The problem is that he's gone up 12lb for that win and it was an awful race.

Hazzaar's jumping of fences is obviously an unknown but that Lacey is sending him over fences this late in the season suggests it's likely been good otherwise he could easily have waited for next season and continued to run him over hurdles this season.

I'm hoping that he will be ridden handily and I think any 4/1 or bigger underplays his chance.

Return to fences for White Moon

Taunton 15.40: White Moon 1pt win 4/1

White Moon hasn't run over fences since pulling up when favourite for the 2019 Badger Beers at Wincanton. He was racing off 142 that day and following four runs over hurdles, turns up in this race off 124.

White Moon's jumping was often an issue when running over fences in the past and prevented him from being able to reach his full potential. Prior to running in the Badger Beers, he looked set to win a handicap at the same course until coming down at the last.

Wincanton is a tough jumping test so he will prefer the slightly easier demands of Taunton, particularly in a small field where there's likely to be less pressure on his jumping.

His form over hurdles since pulling up in the Badger Beers has been a mixed bag. He ran quite well in a Pertemps qualifier at Huntingdon early last year but ran awfully in another qualifier on his first start of this season at Wincanton. He had a wind op after that and ran better at Kempton last time. He always looked a bit short of speed over the 2m5f trip on good ground but kept plugging on to finish seventh.

While he's unproven over quite this far, he didn't look to be stopping at the end of 3m2½f at Wincanton so I'm hopefully that it will be fine for him and will certainly be a more suitable test than he faced over hurdles last time.

In a race where all of the opposition have questions to answer, White Moon appeals at 3/1 or bigger and hopefully he can take advantage of the handicapper's generosity.


Staked: 41.00pts
Returned: 31.725pts
P/L: -9.275pts

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