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Daily Racing Insight

Wolver 4.25 High Maintenance @ 16/1
Buxxtothemoon @ 14/1
Sea Willow Saver @ 8/1

The dutch return was too short for me at 100/30, hence the saver on Sea Willow. She got blocked early on on h/cap debut but stayed on well and gets dropped another 1lb.

The fav Eglish may be a class above these, but whilst I did consider the simple lay, I do think there a couple of reasons to take the horse on. These 3yo races at this time of year can be won be horse that ran off rag prices lto, or beaten 10 lths plus, so I'd like to thinbk there are a couple capable of running above their mark.

Also Eglish's last run reads very well in terms of class , beating 63,60,67,72,60,62,72,65 horses and this is an average of 52 and the horse is still only off 55.
The problem I have is that race was much slower than the lower grade 7f run later that evening.

She may well win again but looks sure to be over-bet.

Whilst a Haggas runner in this grade on 1st h/c run off the back of three poor runs initially tempts, I don't want to get mugged by the profile. The owner/ breeder seems to produce moderate horses, so I'm happy to pass over Sena even at this level.

Where Next Jo did have my interest; dropping back 1.5f having led lto into a strong headwind, she may hard to catch in front with the use of a 7lb claimer on board. I did think it was the worst race I'd seen lto, with plenty doing their best to lose, so I have to pass her over.

Twittering just looks exposed.

Gracies Girl is hard to weigh up as Appleby has run her on fibresand twice,.when she run on polytrack on debut to good effect. She should stay trip, but I'm not sure if she's ahead of her mark.

Lucifer is by the same sire as GG and the fav, but has a wide draw and I'm not convinced the horse has any low grade ability.

Pull Harder Con has suffered with a desperate opening mark. No surprise to see him improve, but I can't see him winning this on recent evidence.

Shumli has at least won over C&D , is only 1lb higher and the winning jockey returns on board, but she has put in poor runs since. She had no chance lto in a seller, so did as well as could have been expected and the headgear change may help, but she is short enough for me.

That leaves the two picks, who may well be exchange plays as they could drift, both on h/cap debut.

Both are similar types; very late to the track 2yo's who obviously only have h/caps to aim at .

High Maintenance is probably the stronger of the two, simply on the fact she last ran in a fair maiden lto were the winner now has a mark of 79. Today's mark of 51 certainly looks a workable mark and Luke Morris replaces Lundie ( 0/21 for the stable ), plus 1st time headgear.

Buzztothemoon's "best" piece of form was his lto run when beaten over 7 lths and finishing 9 of 10. Even though that race was much slower than the earlier division, there were some decent types at the front end.

Whether Buzz can find any more improvement in the space of two weeks is open to question, but they will struggle to find weaker races than this.

I can't pass over the chances of Sea Willow and I was thinking Laura Pearson would have been best on to, but she rides WNJ. The jockey rode her lto and should hope place her to better effect.

A race where I won't be too concerned about the market pre race, but more concerned about early race position and if the two main picks have any ability, the jocks generally get the job done at this level.
Such races leave me feeling almost sorry for the fiddlers..........almost.
I guess they work off the exchanges mick mick , so much easier than the olden days.

I think the Haggas horse drifted most of the morning from 5/1 to 12/1, then as soon as it went over 18.0 in the exchange it was swiftly taken.



If this were a flat handicap Dark Lochnagar would be giving lumps of weight away. Rated 88 on the flat, Tavus was rated 72, Cawthorne Lad 57, Coup De Gold 73, Gordalan 59, Burnage Boy 55 and Showsutai 50. In the last four seasons Keith Dalgleish is 7-25 in Juvenile Hurdles and 4-10 with those on their hurdling debut. Dark Lochnagar despite having 8 hurdles to jump should be much shorter than he is. Tavus was miles behind Allmankind at Chepstow who was of a similar standard to Dark Lochnagar on the flat.


Miss Heritage beat Molly Ollys Wishes last time over course and distance and with that horse winning yeterday beating a horse that had finished third in a listed race the form has a sound look to it. The time of the race was some 8 seconds quicker than 112 rated Olympic Glory took in the handicap hurdle over the same distance and that suggests that Miss Heritage is well in here off 115. Blindly following Lucy Wadham at Fakenham has been a profitable exercise over the years. But, it is the fillies and mares where she thrives, 13-41, and that improves over the shortest distance to 9-21. Her record in races confined to females reads 21112833111.

Maskada should find this much easier than the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle but the form of that race was the winner first and the rest absolutely nowhere. 4yos have an appalling record in 4yo+ Handicap Hurdles in January and fillies are 6-117. It does improve slightly when racing against their own sex, 4-48 but you have to go back to 2014 to find the last winner.

Mystic Dreamer had looked to have been found an easy task last time but failed to hold off Martha Brae. She did beat listed hurdle winner Floressa in a Bumper but you have to worry about the form of Nick Gifford's horses. He is without a winner since mid November. Apparently, over the last few years Gifford is one of those yards that give their staff an extended break over Christmas and it takes a good month to get the horses back.

Quantam Of Solace would have been of interest had she had had a run this season but she looks certain to need this being 0-9 with just one place when returning after a break of 30 days+. She is yet to place in five races off marks above 100 so she will be ready soon enough as she is racing off 101 today.



Hawk High has his ideal conditions. His record on good or good to soft ground over 15f-17f under NH rules reads 5-11 which improves to 4-8 when racing off 138 or less. He hasn’t had these conditions since January 2019 when winning at Newcastle.
Hawk High has been unlucky this season. He needed his first run of the season when second to Ecu De Noverie and then in the Castleford Chase he bumped into a very well handicapped and back to form Marracudja. Although beaten 11ls, the form looks sound with Marracudja getting within 8ls of Defi Du Seuil last weekend but 10ls ahead of Janika. Last time the conditions of the race meant he had to give 3lbs to Katpoli who was rated 1lb higher than him and he failed by 2.75ls. Connections have popped a pair of blinkers on him probably to stop him hanging left which he did last time. The entry of 148 rated Winter Escape has given the handicap a lop-sided look but it means Hawk High can carry 8lbs less than last time and 2lbs less than the Castleford in what is an easier race.

Cracking Find attempts to win this again off 3lbs lower than last year and all his form this season has to be disregarded as the stable have had a terrible time. The Smith horses are running really well now so one has to think this race has been on the radar. It is a much weaker renewal than last year but he a major trend to overcome. You have to go back to 2002 to find that last horse to win this who had more than 14 handicap chase starts and five of the last six winners had ten or less starts in a handicap chase as did 8 of the last 10 winners.

Wishfull Dreaming has a sound chance as his last two races in cheekpieces and tongue tie would testify. His second in the Grand Sefton was a good effort but the main target is the Topham. He is going to have to be rated over 135 to get in so he needs a win and a place before then. He has a super record for Sam England over 16f-16.5f, 22113, and he will be backed to place as a saver.

Duke Of Navan won this two years ago, but he was 20ls behind Hawk High in November and has the chase trend to overcome. Six 12yos have tried to win this and all failed not even placing.

Movie Legend has the chase stat to overcome and he probably needs quicker ground as four of his six wins have come on good ground. He has had three wind operations now and is 8lbs worse off with Cracking Find for half a length over this course and distance last year.

Twotwothree had his limitations exposed in a 0-120 last time and this is tougher. He hasn’t placed in a handicap when having to carry 11-5 or less, 0-4, and looks best giving weight to inferior horses.

Hatcher has had a wind operation after disappointing at Ludlow, miles behind Movie Legend. He has an 11ls fifth in a listed chase on his CV off a mark of 138 but Harry Skelton has ridden him to eight of his nine wins.

Croco Bay is 13yo and competed in 24 handicap chases. He won the Grand Annual last season and was third in the Punchestown equivalent. He has to buck the chase stat to be involved.

Western Miller is 0-7 over distances less than 19f and is yet to place ion any race worth more than 10k, 0-6.

Ball Darc at his best would sluice up off this mark but he isn’t that horse any more that’s why he isn’t at Cullentra. Peter Winks is 0-25 since August and looks like a bloke who hasn’t got the heart for racing anymore after his jockey son went off to sing on cruise ships. He is 3-62 since January 1st, 2019.

Ashoka is the second Skelton runner and is back on a winning mark. He has never placed when not wearing a tongue tie, 0-6.

Conclusion: The pace looks likely to come from Western Miller and Hatcher and possibly Cracking Find but it isn’t guaranteed so it looks like to have a chance you will have to be on the front end. It wont suit Wishfull Dreaming but I do think he will run into a place. However, Hawk High was rated in the 140s over hurdles and has had some poor luck over fences. He is very reasonably weighted and has his conditions and it will be run to suit.


Poetic indeed mlmrob mlmrob and another master class in how to read a race and hope you get the right results. FWIW HH is also the stand out horse in the race using the ratings grid I use although I doubt I will back only because I have 15 mins left of my lunch break and not enough time to do my own research as I always do even when such brilliant work is displayed as that way I only have myself to blame in the unlikely event it does not go to plan :D

Will be delighted to see HH romp home for you though and all the best!