Today's Follow the Money comes from this afternoon's cards at Leicester and Newcastle.
"Those who have followed Lower Hope Dandy will remember the nine-year-old gelding triumphing by 16 lengths in a handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2013. Should he come on from his latest run it would be foolish to write him off if he gets near his form of old."
Our lay runs in the 15:00 at Leicester, where favourite Lessons In Milan has drifted from 2.245/4 out to 2.526/4. Last seen landing the spoils in a handicap contest at Lingfield, Nicky Henderson's eight-year-old makes his debut over fences after nearly a year off the track. He races off 14lb higher than that win at Lingfield which could make today's affair a lot tougher after such a lengthy absence. The preference here is for April Dusk, who was successful over fences last time out at Uttoxeter, and although is up 6lb for that looks better prepared for this contest. At the price this looks a vulnerable favourite who we are happy to take this one on, lay is the call.
Staying at Leicester for our first back, Lower Hope Dandy, who takes aim in the 15:35 having been supported in from 6.411/2 in to 4.57/2. Venetia Williams' charge made a positive return to the racecourse after a lengthy lay off when finishing a tired third of six in a similar race to this at Newbury in December. Those who have followed this one will remember the nine-year-old gelding triumphing by 16 lengths in a handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2013. Should he come on from his latest run it would be foolish to write him off if he gets near his form of old.
For our last back we head to the 15:45 at Newcastle, where Nakadam has shifted in price from 11.521/2 in to 6.25/1. This one keeps slipping down the handicap after finishing outside the places in his only three handicap starts over on these shores and is now at a 13lb lower mark from his first effort at Ayr. The switch to fences from hurdles looks a positive move as all of this horse's best form in France was over the bigger obstacles and the same can be said for the step down in trip. There's enough to like about this one's chances off this mark and if favourite Halo Moon finds the 7lb increase too much there's every chance he could be winning sooner rather than later. To play it safe we're happy to put this one up as our each way wager.
Lay Lessons In Milan @ 2.526/4 in the 15:00 at Leicester
Back Lower Hope Dandy @ 4.57/2 in the 15:35 at Leicester
Back Nakadam each way @ 6.25/1 in the 15:45 at Newcastle
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Follow The Money January P/L
For January, calculated before commission, based on prices at time of publication