No luck for Alan yesterday but he moves onto Monday's cards with two each-way selections, one from Newton Abbot and one from the evening card at Windsor...
"formally trained by Paul Nichols and won off 8lbs higher "
This Class 2 Handicap Hurdle is the feature race of the Newton Abbot card and with a field of 12 going to post it looks ideal for an each-way selection. The horse I can't keep out the frame is All Set To Go, this seven-year-old grey was formally trained by Paul Nichols and won off 8lbs higher for him in December 2016. Since moving yards he hasn't been able to get his head in front for the Kevin Frost team but his last two starts have shown plenty of promise, including when a closing fifth in the Grade 3 Swinton Hurdle.
It's a competitive field and it will be interesting to see if the favourite, Culitvator will be capable of backing up his short head win at Warwick last time out. He always goes well fresh but to date he has never been able to make it back-to-back victories. Conditions should suit and he's only two-pounds higher, but he's not one to trust on a short turnaround, to date he has never won running again within 77 days of his last start. Although this is All Set To Go's first trip over this distance his last two starts suggested that he would benefit from a longer trip. He is still on a very attractive mark and with Brian Hughes in the plate I think he will be right in amongst it at the business end of this race.
The regular Monday night Windsor action kicks off with this five furlong handicap and I like the chances of Ralph Beckett's three-year-old charge Nine Below Zero. He looked a promising type after winning his first two races under rules in the summer of 2017. Both those wins were over the minimum trip and one of them was here at Windsor.
His last two starts were over six furlongs and maybe they were just that furlong to far at this stage of his development. I am expecting him to improve after his run at Newmarket last month in this much weaker contest and being back to five furlongs will help him. He is still well handicapped and if he runs his race he could be difficult to beat let alone make the frame.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +10.75 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 6 pts
Returned: 5 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts