Monday, November 14, 2011

Improving Handicappers

At the start of every National Hunt season it’s always interesting and hopefully profitable to try and spot those horses which still have considerable improvement left in them and can progress throughout the season and challenge for the valuable prizes.

No selection of improving of improving handicappers would be complete without representation from the Paul Nicholls yard and one horse that caught the eye last season was Aerial who disappointed on ground faster than ideal at Ascot when he also made a noise. That run led to him having a wind operation and he wouldn’t be the first horse from this yard to show significant improvement after that particular operation. If he comes back to the sort of form that he displayed on his British debut when he paralysed Tamadot and Double The Trouble his mark of 140 will look very lenient indeed. Those looking for horse racing betting tips should remember this.

Not only an up and coming horse but one from a yard – Charlie Longsdon - which has done nothing but progress over the past couple of years and their Grandads Horse has already delivered one striking performance this year at Stratford. He was put up 13lb for that win but he still has bags of improvement left in him and this progressive son of Bollin Eric still looks a handicapper to keep on the right side in the coming months.

Another yard that is clearly going places is that of Donald McCain, there were a couple of candidates that would have fitted the title of the article and it seems a shame to leave either out so we are throwing in two for the price of one. Wymott is the first, he was pulled up with an injury in the RSA Chase and the handicapper dropped him 4lb as a result. People who bet on racing need to bear this in mind.

Prior to that he was unbeaten over fences and his attacking style could pay dividends in some high-class handicap chases especially off a mark of 144. Red Merlin also from the McCain stable that will pay to note, formerly top class in handicaps on the Flat he was a slow-burner over hurdles but his hat-trick of wins over hurdles in the spring was definite progress and gives him a platform to build from. His mark of 130 looks on his flat and hurdles form to have seriously underplayed his ability and Donald McCain will be able to place him to maximum effect.

Last but not least one of the lesser lights from the Philip Hobbs stable but one who can definitely improve and win at his level. The Disengager is a dual-winning pointer and he made a very encouraging debut when beating all bar subsequent Carlisle winner The Panama Kid at Perth in September. He’s not one of the stable stars but his mark of 107 looks to seriously underestimate his ability and there should be more improvement to come.

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