Rhys Williams' Tuesday Racing Tips: Gekkota to spring a surprise

Ballinrobe
Our racing expert has three selections on Tuesday

Rhys Williams has analysed Tuesday's racing and has three selections at Ballinrobe and Ffos Las.

"Gekkota is small so this tight track should be no issue for him and I expect this will be a more suitable for him than jumping fences given his size."

Travelled well for a long way on rules debut

Ballinrobe 15:15: Coastguard Station 1pt win 12/1

Coastguard Station showed promise in points and he ran well for a long way on his rules debut in a 2m4f bumper at Listowel.

Held up at the back of the field, he was still travelling strongly turning down the back straight for the final time and eased into seventh turning the final bend before being pushed along. He couldn't find any more for pressure in the straight and faded to finish ninth.

The winner, Beret Rouge, was returning to the good level of form that she showed earlier in her career. The third and fifth have since won a maiden hurdle and bumper respectively while the sixth has finished second in a bumper since.

The way that Coastguard Station travelled through that race suggests that he can cope with this sharper test and that he has enough ability to be competitive in a race of this quality.

There is a concern that similar tactics being used might not be ideal around this track so hopefully they will ride him at least a bit handier over the shorter trip.

In a moderate maiden hurdle I think his chance is being underestimated by the market and any 8/1 or bigger appeals.

Could get ideal pace setup

Ffos Las 17:15: Red Stripes 0.5pt win 16/1

Red Stripes is without a win since March 2020 but he continues to give his all and that effort may result in victory once again.

The problem with Red Stripes is that he's not quite quick enough for five furlongs but doesn't stay six furlongs so he needs a strong pace over the former trip to give him a chance and I think he will get today.

While some of them have issues with slow starting which could prevent this from happening, it could be that the jockeys on Fard, Wild Flower, Glamorous Force, Morty and Red Walls all have intentions of making the running and that could result in Aled Beech getting the perfect trip just in behind on Red Stripes.

Red Stripes showed two starts ago at Haydock that he's capable of running well when effectively racing off 56 (he was 10lb out of the handicap). He was only beaten 2¼ lengths that day and a repeat of that would put him right there today off 46.

He was comfortably held since then at Wolverhampton off 46 but I thought he looked a bit awkward on the bend so the return to a straight five furlongs could help.

It may be that he will run respectably in defeat again or that the expected pace battle won't materialise and he will be outpaced but I think he's got a better chance than his price suggests and any 14/1 or bigger appeals.

Enough ability shown in points to be competitive

Ballinrobe 18:55 Gekkota 1pt e/w 66/1

There doesn't look to be much strength in depth in the closing bumper at Ballinrobe. It may turn out that one of the newcomers is too good for them (they're a real mixed bunch on breeding) but there's a horse who showed some promise in points whose chance I think has been completely missed by the market.

Gekkota showed a good level of ability on debut at Boulta before coming down at 2 out. He took a narrow lead at 3 out and got into a battle for the lead with Blue Stello on the run to 2 out before Gekkota clipped the top of that fence and took a very heavy fall.

The winner of that race, Connies Choice, was since bought privately by Barry Connell while the runner up, Blue Stello, was since bought for £75,000 and has joined Nicky Henderson. The third, Where's Frankie, had run well on his previous run behind the now 130-rated Carrolls Cottage and useful novice hurdler last season Mr Incredible.

Gekkota ran badly on his next start after a five-month break but bounced back on his latest run at Ballingarry. He travelled well in midfield before being pushed along after a slightly slow jump at 3 out. He was hampered slightly going into 2 out and started the long run to the last in fifth. He was closing in fourth when he had to be steadied approaching the last bend as Garde Des Champs was coming back into his path and Gekkota couldn't regain his momentum after that, finishing fifth.

While this form isn't quite on the level of his debut effort, Garde Des Champs, who finished three lengths ahead of him, has since been beaten two lengths in a maiden hurdle.

Gekkota is small so this tight track should be no issue for him and I expect this will be a more suitable for him than jumping fences given his size.

It may be that he's not quite quick enough for a sharp two miles or he could put in another shocker as he did on his second run but the bounce back on his third run offers hope that he won't do that.

This is a first ride in a race for Niall O'Mara so while he has plenty of experience in the saddle in other equestrian disciplines, his race-riding inexperience could tell particularly given the tight nature of the track.

However, even despite these concerns I think he's completely the wrong price given the ability he's shown and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.

RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021

Staked: 230.00pts
Returned: 252.20pts
P/L: +22.20pts

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