Alan found another winner yesterday at 5.04/1 and his each-way selection was backed off the boards, from 9.08/1 to 4.57/2 but ultimately could only deliver a place. On his penultimate day in the chair he has two more, one from the all weather meeting at Lingfield and his next best at Ludlow...
"He would of needed that run returning after a two month break and is capable of winning a race like this"
Back Strictly Carter @ 9/2 in the 14:20 Lingfield
Strictly Carter ran a decent race when finishing third of 10 in a handicap at this course and distance just eight days ago, showing that he may be returning to some kind of form for the owner and trainer Alan Bailey. He would of needed that run returning after a two month break and is capable of winning a race like this. He might need some luck in running and a strong pace to aim at, which I think he might get today with a couple of front runners in the line up. He gets in here of the same mark as his last run (57) but this time he has the services of 7lb claimer Harry Burns on his back, so hopefully he can pick them off and get up in the final stages.
Make no mistake, this isn't by any stretch of the imagination a good race and it won't take anything special to win it. Zenovian is the current market leader and since winning at Wolverhampton in October he has been raised 3lbs and sent off favourite or second favourite in each of his last four starts on the all weather, he has yet to finish in the frame, I couldn't fancy him. Napping looks more of a threat to me, the lightly raced four-year-old maiden filly ran a decent third of 11 in a handicap over today's course and distance 33 days ago.
The feature race of the day at Ludlow today is this Class 2, two mile Handicap Chase and at the prices I want to give a chance to Tim Easterby's aging chaser Ifandbutwhynot. The 11-year-old was travelling well last time out at Wetherby just 11 days ago before his lack of fitness had him beat a long way out and he came home in his own time after losing the lead four from home. He will strip fitter for that outing and looks to be the only front runner in the race, if he gets a soft lead he could be difficult to peg back under Brian Hughes.
He showed he still retains plenty of ability when he won a £12.5k handicap here over course and distance back in April. If he is to win this he may have to get the better of last years winner Colin's Brother. Who looked a really useful type after winning his first two starts over fences, but he hasn't been able to finish two of his next three races, he now drops in trip which should suit but he has plenty to prove for me as market principle.