Alan Thompson's best bet of the day obliged yesterday producing another winning day, today he is looking at Wetherby and Southwell...
"If he is starting to get the hang of chasing then his mark of 127 makes him a very interesting runner in this field."
Nigel Twiston-Davies runs Ballybolley for his his fifth race over fences today. This horse has been a great performer for the Twiston-Davies yard and connections, winning five and being placed in four of his 16 starts, including winning the Grade 2 bumper at the Grand National festival a couple of years ago.
He then moved onto hurdles where he was mixing it in Grade 1 company and finishing fifth behind the likes of Nichols Canyon. However, while the seven-year-old gelding has obviously got ability and class, he is certainly taking his time to show it over fences.
That said, his last run over two and a half miles at Huntingdon on heavy ground was certainly his best performance to date and maybe the penny is starting to drop. If he is starting to get the hang of chasing then his mark of 127 makes him a very interesting runner in this field. At the price available, and if I could guarantee eight runners, I would ideally be backing him each way. But, in anticipation of at least one non runner, I will go with the selection as a win only bet.
If you have read my Bets of the Day column before then you will know I am a fan of following Scott Dixon's runners at Southwell. He has three runners there today, one of which was a winner for the column on the 2nd Jan (Crosse Fire who is out again in the 15:10 but I think he is too high in the handicap to back today). Scott won this race last year but both his other runners today are in this Southwell finale, I just hope I haven't picked the wrong one.
I believe Coiste Bodhar, who sports blinkers today after his poor run last time in cheekpieces, has the better chance. All six of his wins have been over today's trip and he has been dropped 2lbs after his last run, which was in a better class than this, he is also only 2lb higher than his last win over course and distance in November.
Sir Geoffrey is Scott's other runner in the field but all of his wins have been over five furlongs, he has tried to win over six furlongs 18 times and failed, being placed in four of them and his last win on the all weather was 16 starts ago.
Alan Thompson 2016 P&L
Carried Forward +9.97 pts
Staked: 8 pts (including today's bet)
Returned: 11 pts
Overall Profit/Loss: + 12.97 pts