When the wind is howling and the rain is pouring, there is no better time to curl up in front of the TV on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy some top-class horse racing action on Channel 4. It would be rude also not to have a dabble or two. It is the weekend after all.
Our man Lewis Jones, who tipped up a 20/1 winner a couple of weeks back at Newmarket, has taken a good look at the action from Doncaster, where they go flat racing, and at Wincanton, where the jumps take centre stage. Lewis has found a bet to follow from both tracks…
Doncaster 3:35 – November Handicap
The booking of big-race claiming jockey Louis Steward is a huge plus for the chances of the very talented yet frustrating First Mohican, who can be backed at 16/1.
Steward has steered Mutual Regard to victory in the Ebor at York and Bronze Angel to success in the Cambridgeshire this season to show he’s a man for the big occasion.
The selection actually was a red hot 3/1 favourite for this race two years ago but toiled in quick conditions, finishing down the field.
He has been disappointing in truth ever since but does have the edge of a summer break behind him coming into this race, which looks cherry ripe for him if he can put his best foot forward.
The ground will be right up his street on Town Moor and his last win came in a York handicap off a rating of 100 when he was fresh, so he’s racing off a mark just 2lb higher than that. Everything looks right for a huge run.
Wincanton 3:15 – Elite Hurdle
The day’s banker has to be Irving in the feature at Wetherby, who should rate much better than his current mark of 148.
He looked a horse with huge potential when dotting up at Taunton, Ascot and Kempton before flopping when favourite in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
He was easy to back that day, found himself behind nearing the third-last and was off the bridle at that stage. He made some late headway and perhaps if Nick Scholfield had his chance again he would sit handier.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has big faith in this horse and he should be stronger with a summer on his back. This looks an ideal starting point with the selection getting 12lbs off former Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby.