2019 Badger Beers Silver Trophy tips – Two horses to side with in Wincanton’s feature handicap

Bryony Frost and Present Man (right) winning this race for the first time in 2017.Bryony Frost and Present Man (right) winning this race for the first time in 2017.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for the feature handicap chase at Wincanton on Saturday and highlights two outsiders he’ll be backing.

Wincanton racecourse welcomes a capacity crowd, and the ITV Racing team, through their gates on Saturday. Two excellent Graded races feature on Wincanron’s card, but the main event of the afternoon is certainly the Badger Beers Silver Trophy, where 18 high-quality handicap chasers will go head-to-head.

Present Man (7/1 William Hill) and his faithful companion, Bryony Frost will bid to seal a hat-trick of victories in this handicap, having held on tenaciously from the front to secure victory in the two previous editions. Paul Nicholls’ charge dealt with a two-pound rating rise to win 12 months ago and Present Man has gone up another four-pounds in the handicap since. The pair are sure to garner plenty of support on the day and you wouldn’t put it past Nicholls’ nine-year-old making it three in a row.

The bookies currently have White Moon (7/1 Paddy Power) ahead of Present Man in the market, despite Colin Tizzard’s charge sustaining a heavy fall on his reappearance here at Wincanton last month. After failing to see out three miles twice as a novice, White Moon looked to have proven his stamina when powering to the front the last day, only to stumble and fall after a poor jump at the last. The handicapper has still decided to chuck his rating up five pounds, which some would say is slightly unfair considering he failed to finish, and I’m never keen to back a horse on the back of a late tumble.

Give Me A Copper (9/1 Unibet) shot to the head of the betting for the Ultima Handicap last spring, following an encouraging return from long-term injury at Sandown. Sadly, things didn’t go to plan for Paul Nicholls’ charge at the Festival and Give Me A Copper could only finish a distant fourth on his final outing of the season in the bet365 Gold Cup. Harry Cobden’s mount could be the best handicapped runner in the race, if he can produce his top form, but his inconsistency makes his current single-figure price look rather unappealing.

Rock The Kasbah (8/1 William Hill) was one of my ante-post bets in the Grand National back in April, but Philip Hobbs’ charge didn’t enjoy his first outing over the national fences and was brought down when well behind. Another failure to finish followed at Sandown and, although Hobbs’ nine-year-old seems to do his best work at the start of a season, I’d rather swerve him on this occasion.

Despite crossing the line as the highest-placed British entrant in the Grand National, Walk In The Mill (9/1 Unibet) had his rating dropped by two pounds for that fourth-placed effort. A return to the Becher Chase he won last year will be at the top of Robert Walford’s list of priorities during the first half of the campaign, so I doubt Walk In The Mill will be fully wound up.

Just A Sting (left) running well at Kempton during their Christmas Festival.

When I initially covered this race at the start of the week, JUST A STING (9/1 Paddy Power) was my secondary selection at 14/1. However, since the final field was revealed, Harry Fry’s chaser has come into a single-figure price and now takes over as my main each-way punt.

Results tailed off a little during Just A Sting’s novice chasing campaign last season, but performances during the first half of the season serve as a great source of encouragement. Harry Fry’s charge beat capable rivals on both of his opening starts over fences and came up just three-lengths short of the imperious Adrian Du Pont in a big three-mile handicap during Kempton’s King George meeting.

Just A Sting seems to do his best work when nice and fresh during the first half of the season. Ground conditions and the style of the track should suit Harry Fry’s contender well and the recent market support fills me with plenty of confidence.

Despite that, I feel there’s plenty of scope for a second bet in this race and the other runner I want to back is THE YOUNG MASTER (12/1 William Hill). Neil Mulholland’s ten-year-old has previous in this race, having won it in 2014 before he was deemed ineligible to run and, with the ground at Wincanton set to remain good, The Young Master has an excellent chance of regaining the title stripped from him.

Now a ten-year-old, The Young Master showed last season that he was still capable of performing at a very high level. Sam Waley-Cohen guided his mount to victories at Chepstow and Cheltenham to kick off his campaign, before the pair got bogged down in soft ground during the Ladbrokes Trophy. The Young Master then stayed on gamely to place in the Kim Muir, before bettering that third-place finish at Sandown, following Talkischeap home in the Bet365 Gold Cup.

Good ground is key to The Young Master’s chances and I only passed him over earlier in the week because I felt the ground may come up a little soft. That, thankfully, is not the case and The Young Master is well worth siding with at an each-way price.

The Young Master (left) following Talkischeap home in the bet365 Gold Cup.