Taunton Placepot: Monday December 30

Monday's Placepot comes from Taunton
Monday's Placepot comes from Taunton

The competitive fields at Taunton make for the most appealing Placepot prospect...

"... As I Am simply can’t be ignored: she has built up a really good record this season, winning six times..."

12:40 - Frankly, the first is a minefield for those attempting the Placepot: several are interesting, but few can be trusted. Lights of Broadway is a clear first choice, his second at Leicester among the best recent pieces of form in this race, while it's still early days in his time with this yard. Second spot goes to Extremely So, who boasts a good record around here, especially when the ground is testing. It's her first run of the season, so it might be needed, but Extremely So has run well fresh in the past.

13:10 - The conundrum in leg two is more straightforward: it boils down to a trade-off between Milosam's as-yet unproven suitability for the mud against how far ahead of his rivals he is on recent form. The latter would appear to have the scales in its favour, so we go it alone with Philip Hobbs' progressive chaser.

13:45 - Another tentative Hobbs-trained banker will be our approach to leg three. Horizontal Speed's run in a handicap on his penultimate start is a standout on his profile so far, yet it's also far and away the best on offer in this race as a whole. Testing conditions at the trip can only help, too.

14:20 - We can bank again in leg four. Although it's another short-priced runner, As I Am simply can't be ignored: she has built up a really good record this season, winning six times (including at this level) and progressing gradually by the run with a handful of exceptions. It'd be a great surprise if she fails to make the first three.

14:55 - We'd like to deviate from the script here, but in truth only No Secrets really makes any appeal. Most of the rest have something to prove, while the overriding impression left on No Secrets' return was that he's back in top form. Given a month to recover, he should be up to going very close at a track that will likely suit the aggressive tactics usually adopted with him.

15:25 - Leg six offers the necessity, rather than opportunity, to be creative. None of these are to be trusted inherently, though both Theoystercatcher and Hurrciane Ivan have potential and look relatively free of quirks. Theoystercatcher has already tackled several handicaps, though never granted this sort of test, which all evidence suggests will suit. Hurricane Ivan has offered some promise in novices and, though his opening mark demands improvement, it needn't be a great deal off 95.

12:40 - 6, 9
13:10 - 6
13:45 - 1
14:20 - 1
14:55 - 2
15:25 - 2, 5

= 4 lines

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