Carlisle Placepot: Thursday October 25

Donald McCain could be set for a good day at Carlisle

Carlisle offers the better of Thursday's two jumps cards, and that's where Keith Melrose is heading for the Placepot.

"It wouldn’t be a huge surprise were Power Pack Jack to reverse form with The Magic Bishop from last time, though we’re more confident of the latter putting his best foot forward so he gets the nod."

14:20 - They may well find Another Trump difficult to beat off the same mark as when he landed something of a touch over fences at Huntingdon last week, but equally he's hardly one to be banking on at the best of times, let alone off the back of a fairly hard race. There's not much behind him, but Smart Act makes a better case than most; he's very much unexposed, yet has experience over C&D as well as under testing conditions.

14:55 - It's difficult to ignore Quinder Spring in this handicap chase, his consistency during his recent resurgence making him a shoo-in for our perm, though Bertie Milan also catches the eye. He has long promised to make a better chaser than a hurdler, while he's joined the in-form Nick Alexander yard from the retired Sue Bradburne in the 12 months or so since his last run. Early market vibes suggest Bertie Milan could well be ready for his reappearance.

15:25 - This could well be the most difficult race on the card, few having experience and those that do boasting just modest form. We're taking the unusual Placepot route of including inexperienced hurdlers, but pairing dual Irish point runner-up Bit of A Jig and established Flat handicapper Three White Socks (whose saddle slipped on his hurdling debut) should hopefully be enough to see us through.

15:55 - A tricky handicap chase in which a balance must be struck between those likely to give their running and those that look well handicapped. It wouldn't be a huge surprise were Power Pack Jack to reverse form with The Magic Bishop from last time, though we're more confident of the latter putting his best foot forward so he gets the nod. We're also including Vamizi, who hasn't run since April but has been strong in the betting this morning, suggesting he'll be ready to do himself justice. He's generally a sketchy jumper, but these easy fences seem to allow him to show his true worth, as evidenced by a relatively strong course record (placed on all four starts here last season, winning once).

16:30 - You could easily make a case for three of the five (it would have been four from six before Seedless was pulled out) in this handicap hurdle. Ahyaknowyerself combines a progressive recent profile with consistency and, by and large, a good attitude, so he's in. Out of the other two, we prefer Pas Trop Tard to Ballyclough, with his fitness, form and suitability to the conditions all guaranteed for all that Ballyclough has by far the greater potential.

17:00 - Ordinarily, we'd face two options here: either bank on favourite Super Duty or take him on with the promising pair of Nuts N Bolts and Bury Parade. Super Duty's price does look rather threadbare, but we're in need of a banker in this final leg and so the only real option is to side with him.

Selections:
14:20 - 1, 4
14:55 - 1, 2
15:25 - 2, 7
15:55 - 3, 4
16:30 - 1, 4
17:00 - 9
= 32 lines

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