Today's Follow The Money bets run at Newbury and Kelso.
"Storm Force Ten has only run on soft going so far this season and his best flat form was on better ground, so he may prove difficult to stop back on a sounder surface this afternoon."
We start with Newbury's 15:45, a 2m Juvenile Handicap Hurdle in which Storm Force Ten has been strongly supported into 3.211/5 from 5.24/1. Andrew Balding's exciting youngster has shown plenty of promise since switching to hurdles and 123 looks a nice mark for this handicap debut. He has mixed it in good company, finishing a fine fourth, making up ground at the end, behind Triumph hero Peace And Co in a high-quality Cheltenham event when last seen in January. This is easier and he receives weight from key rivals, including over a stone from Golden Doyen who fell at the Festival last week. Crucially, he has only run on soft going so far this season and his best flat form was on better ground, so he may prove difficult to stop back on a sounder surface this afternoon.
On the same card Cultivator has been easy to back in the 16:20 2m National Hunt Flat race, now trading at 3.9 from 3.02/1. With a good prize on offer, little form to go on and plenty of big yards represented the market is often the most reliable indicator in such situations. Nicky Henderson won this race last year and always has a formidable array of talent at his disposal so his unraced runner has to be respected. But there must be a risk he will be vulnerable on racecourse debut. The money has poured in for Alan King's The Unit who has the benefit of a recent run at Kempton and can give the favourite something to worry about.
Across the border at Kelso, The Cobbler Swayne has been well backed into 4.77/2 from 8.415/2 for the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle at 16:35. Lucinda Russell's improving six-year-old may be a little ahead of his mark based on his handicap debut last time at Wetherby where he was only just touched off by a Kim Bailey horse who impressed over 3m at Chepstow shortly after. It may just have been a case of the selection being outstayed that day so the slight drop in trip today can help his cause. That performance was a big step-up on anything he had shown previously but there had been hints at ability in Irish points so a 3lb rise does not look harsh. Some further improvement can be expected making him the one for punters to side with here.
Back Storm Force Ten @ 3.211/5 in the 14:45 at Newbury
Lay Cultivator @ 3.9 in the 16:20 at Newbury
Back The Cobbler Swayne @ 4.77/2 in the 16:35 at Kelso
Follow The Money P&L
2015 to date on recommended prices
P/L: + 19.76pts (before commission)