Today's selections come from the meetings at Towcester, Musselburgh and Plumpton.
"With trainer Evan Williams achieving a 21% strike rate at the East Sussex venue, a figure that improves to 29% when today’s jockey Paul Moloney is on board, the move suggests Court Minstrel can take this valuable contest."
We start at Towcester where Quayside Court has proved easy to back all morning in the 2m6f Handicap Chase at 14:40, now available at 3.613/5 from a low of 2.588/5. This Claire Dyson-trained gelding is seeking a hat-trick today, having won at Taunton in November before returning from a break and winning at today's venue 17 days ago, and comes here in fine fettle. However, although his recent victory was on good to soft the majority of his form is on quicker ground, his break seemingly intended to miss the deep ground of winter, and he will encounter softer conditions today at this testing track. With the handicapper raising him another 8lb and in-form trainer Derek Shaw's Thorncliffer challenging for favouritism, the drift indicates he may struggle to keep the winning run going.
Next we head for some flat action up at Musselburgh for our first positive in the shape of, aptly named on Easter weekend, Angel Gabrial, whose price has contracted from 11.010/1 to the current 7.87/1 to land the 1m6f Handicap at 15:50. This Hurricane Run-gelding was a progressive sort last year, landing a couple of contests over ten furlongs and then running as if today's distance would suit when staying on to be nearest at the finish over a mile-and-a-half against some useful rivals at Ascot in September, before been well-beaten when keen and seemingly below-par at Newmarket three weeks later. Put away after that effort, the four-year-old returns today with improvement seemingly expected and with in-form jockey Tony Hamilton, who has a 31% success rate with his recent rides, doing the steering. The money says there may be some value to be found in siding with this Ian-Williams-trained runner against a competitive field.
We go to Plumpton for our final selection where Court Minstrel has been supported to take the 2m Handicap Hurdle at 16:00, now trading at 2.8615/8 from an early 3.1511/5. The six-year-old showed promise in bumpers last season, winning a couple of races before finishing fourth at Aintree behind The New One and My Tent Or Yours, and won on his debut over hurdles at Cheltenham back in October.
Although failing to win in his two subsequent starts he has been keeping good company, finishing third in a grade two contest before finding the heavy ground not to his liking when fourth behind Melodic Rendezvous in the old Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. With trainer Evan Williams achieving a 21% strike rate at the East Sussex venue, a figure that improves to 29% when today's jockey Paul Moloney is on board, the move suggests he can take this valuable contest.