Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams fancies a winning pointer to get off the mark under rules

Our racing expert has two selections on Thursday

Rhys Williams has analysed Thursday's racing and has two selections at Ludlow.

"That means he faces stablemate Happy News on 15lb better terms than when he may well have beaten him over C&D but for coming down at 4 out."

Making the running would help his chance

Ludlow 13:00: Key To The Moon 1pt win 12/1

Full Of Light is odds-on favourite on his first start for Nicky Henderson in this novices' hurdle and they've done well to find a fairly weak race for him but the bumper he won at Downpatrick was a moderate contest so I'm looking to oppose him.

Clear The Runway travelled well for a long way at Kelso and could improve on that but the market hasn't missed that whereas I think a hurdling newcomer has been overlooked a little.

Key To The Moon was sent off at 3/1 on his debut for Pam Sly at Uttoxeter last season but raced far too keenly and dropped away quickly turning the final bend.

He left Sly and joined Nigel Twiston-Davies following that and his first run for that yard at Worcester earlier this month was more encouraging.

Wearing a hood for the first time, he was initially restrained towards the back of the field but raced extremely keenly before settling better once allowed to make headway to join the leader with a circuit to go. He took sole ownership of the lead turning down the back straight and was a length in front turning into the home straight.

He was headed quite early in the straight and couldn't go with the leaders but unlike on debut, he didn't stop to nothing and wasn't given an overly hard time to finish fifth.

I think that was a strong bumper and this was a far more promising run from Key To The Moon than his debut.

My hope today is they stick the attempt to settle him at the back firmly in the bin and look to make the running from the off instead given how much better he settled once racing prominently at Worcester. Such tactics are never a bad idea around this track, particularly in a field of inexperienced horses, so this could give him a tactical edge over the opposition as none of them look obvious candidates for making the running.

It may be that he needs more time to develop mentally so his ability will only start to come out in results in the long term and there's the unknown over how he will jump on hurdling debut but I think he has the potential to more improvement today and any 10/1 or bigger appeals.

Potential for improvement if jumping holds up

Ludlow 15:15: Muse Of Fire 1pt win 8/1

This race could be run at a good pace with Kilbrew Boy and Goldencard in the field and if those two horses take each other on then Muse Of Fire may get the perfect trip tracking them.

A winning pointer on debut, he showed a little ability in bumpers and over hurdles before having a wind op prior to his handicap and chasing debut over today's C&D in December last season. He raced in second early on before being left in front at the second fence in the home straight on the first circuit.

He had shown a tendency to jump to the left on the first circuit and that was more marked down the back straight on the final circuit, partially influenced by the loose horse in front of him.

Despite this, he was a few lengths clear and travelling well turning into the home straight but he crumpled on landing at 4 out.

Given he had frequently jumped out to the left in that race, the obvious move would have been to run him on a left-handed track on his next start but instead he was sent to Huntingdon where he jumped left early on and then came down at the fifth.

Muse Of Fire's jumping is clearly a concern, as is that he is once again running on a right-handed track, but I think he's got too much ability to not back him in this race given that he's been dropped 3lb since those two runs last season.

That means he faces stablemate Happy News on 15lb better terms than when he may well have beaten him over C&D but for coming down at 4 out.

Maybe his improvement will only come when racing on a left-handed track but I think he's got a better chance than the market suggests in a race of this quality and any 13/2 or bigger appeals.


Staked: 384.50pts
Returned: 493.16pts
P/L: +108.66pts

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