Rhys Williams had two winners on Friday at 14/1 and 4/1 and returns today with two selections at Cartmel and Windsor.
"I think the handicapper has been quite generous in quickly dropping him 4lb for the Lingfield run when there was an obvious excuse and his runs at Bath and Chepstow on good to firm ground suggest that he can be competitive today off 60."
Sharp track will suit
Bright Eyed Eagle and King's Proctor head the market for the opening maiden hurdle at Cartmel and while both come here on the back of good runs, they hardly set a formidable standard and a horse who hasn't run over hurdles for a long time appeals at the prices.
Quoteline Direct had three runs over hurdles in the 2019/20 season and ran respectably on all of them. He raced keenly on all three starts and wasn't quite seeing out the trip but those runs came on good to soft or soft ground so he should have a better chance of staying the 2m1f trip today on good ground.
The quality of his first two runs led to him getting an initial mark of 118 which was then dropped to 116 after he finished third at Sedgefield. While I think that rating slightly overrates what he achieved in those three runs, it's still 6lb higher than Bright Eyed Eagle's rating.
He's been performing inconsistently of late on the flat and it could be that he's just not as talented as he once was but he's always been a quirky horse and it may be that the return to hurdling will revitalise him, particularly if ridden handier.
The qualities he showed in those three previous runs over hurdles suggest that this track will suit Quoteline Direct and while there are concerns, any 8/1 or bigger appeals in a modest maiden hurdle.
Can bounce back on return to quick ground
Woodcock finished tailed off on his latest start at Lingfield but that was on soft ground and I think he can bounce back now returning to quick ground.
On his first start of this season at Bath, he finished second off a 5lb higher mark on good to firm ground. The winner finished third on his next two starts off a 3lb higher mark while the third and fourth both won two starts later off 1lb and 2lb lower marks respectively.
On his next start he finished last but that was on soft ground and it was reported by the trainer's rep that the horse wanted quicker ground.
Although well held in third on his following start over seven furlongs at Chepstow on good to firm ground, he shaped fairly well under his inexperienced rider. Woodcock looked a bit uncomfortable on the idiosyncratic track and he was poorly positioned given the pace.
I think the handicapper has been quite generous in quickly dropping him 4lb for the Lingfield run when there was an obvious excuse and his runs at Bath and Chepstow on good to firm ground suggest that he can be competitive today off 60.
He was well positioned given the pace at Bath so it's possible that he was slightly flattered by that run and it may be that he ideally wants a well-run seven furlongs but I think he's capable of bouncing back today and any 8/1 or bigger appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
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