Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams likes a handicap debutant at Wetherby

Our racing expert has one selection on Friday

Rhys Williams has analysed Friday's racing and has one selection at Wetherby.

"These runs were far more promising than anything that Arcanja has achieved for his previous yard."

Showed ability in jumpers' bumpers

Wetherby 12:55: Arcanja 1pt win 11/1

Arcanja has achieved very little over hurdles with the closest he's got to the winner in four starts being a 45-length defeat at Sedgefield. That was his first start for Rebecca Menzies but since joining her he's also shown far more ability in three jumpers' bumpers at Newcastle.

He wore cheekpieces for the first time on the first of those three starts and while he was no match for stablemate, Busy Street, he ran on well to finish second despite looking a bit awkward once coming under pressure.

He ran well again in a slightly stronger race next time over the same C&D. He made headway to join the leader with three furlongs to go but again didn't look the easiest ride under pressure and dropped away late on to finish fifth.

On the third of Arcanja's three starts in jumpers' bumpers, he was stepped up in trip to 2m4f and was only narrowly denied by a good flat horse in Moon King and it was encouraging how much he found for pressure that day after his previous start.

While those races are not completely reliable for identifying future success, these runs were far more promising than anything that Arcanja has achieved for his previous yard and it may be that the stable switch and application of cheekpieces brought improvement rather than running in that type of race. If that is the case, then he looks to have a good chance of running well on handicap hurdle debut today despite being 7lb out of the handicap as those runs suggested that he has more ability than an 84-rated horse.

There is the concern that his jumping was far from convincing in the past and the ground might be a bit softer than ideal for him but even with those concerns, any double-figure prices appeal in a race of this quality.


Staked: 394.50pts
Returned: 516.16pts
P/L: +121.66pts

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