Thursday’s race of the day – Preview and tips for the feature Handicap Hurdle at Ffos Las
Jon Vine takes a look through the runners set to contest the big Handicap Hurdle at Ffos Las on Thursday and provides readers with his tips on Thursday 28th November.
Alongside our Daily Tips section, I’ve taken a closer look at each of the six runners in the big Handicap Hurdle at Ffos Las on Thursday and picked out my best bet.
Thursday’s Race Of The Day at Ffos Las
Air Horse One
Currently in the midst of a winless run stretching back to February 2017. Was still running in Graded races right up until the start of last season, but was well-beaten in a similar race to this on his reappearance. 17 pounds lower than his career-high mark and should be able to compete in this company, but trainer hasn’t started the season in the greatest of form and ground conditions are far from ideal.
Started last season running over fences. Switched back to hurdles here after two flops over the larger obstacles and ran well that day, placing third carrying odds of 33/1. That was his only completion in five seasonal starts though and he’s now been moved to his third different trainer. Rebecca Curtis has a tough job on her hands.
A fairly late starter, having not made his handicap debut until February of this year. Was well-beaten on first start, but showed promise when unseating late on at Taunton and ran well to place second at Chepstow. Rounded off season with a runaway success at Uttoxeter, beating a horse now rated 130 by 20 lengths. Was given an easy time of things on the front that day and winning margin was slightly flattering, but he still looks the one to beat.
Rated just 66 on the flat, Grace Harris’ charge improved quickly when pointed at hurdles during October, securing ten and five lengths triumph at Exeter and Hereford. Has been comfortably beaten in two handicaps since then though and the handicapper has only dropped him a pound lower than his career-high mark. Soft ground might not be ideal either.
Sirop De Menthe
Rated 130 at his peak in 2016, this nine-year-old has steadily declined since then. Injuries haven’t helped, but he hasn’t managed to finish within 20 lengths of the winner in any of his eight appearance. Has little going for him.
Spent last season running in good quality handicap chases, even qualified for the 2018 BetVictor Gold Cup, where he fell at the first. After two terrible runs, Dr Richard Newland switched him back to hurdles for the first time since May 2018. Clearly has ability and runs off a mark four pounds lower than his rating over fences. All wins have come during the late-spring or summer months though, but has gone well on heavy ground before.
Iron Horse will come in for plenty of support, on the back of that 20-length triumph when last seen. However, I don’t think the winning margin correctly reflects the way that race was run and I’m going to take the favourite on with WHOSHOTWHO, as he returns to handicap hurdles.
On the whole, Dr Newlands charge impressed with some decent performances at a good level last season, so his shocking runs this term came a little out of the blue. This current hurdles mark looks far from beyond him and Cillin Leonards’ claimer will come in most handy.
Whoshotwho ran well enough to place on all three occasions he has previously run on heavy ground and Dr Newlands horses often cope with the switch between hurdling and chasing rather well. He’s my pick at 7/2.