Wednesday’s race of the day – Preview and tips for the feature Handicap Chase at Ludlow

Ludlow race on WednesdayLudlow race on Wednesday

Jon Vine takes a look through the runners in the Tanners Cava Handicap Chase at Ludlow and provides readers with his tips in Wednesday’s race of the day on Wednesday 18th December.

There may be an excellent card to enjoy at Newbury on Wednesday, including the return of the Grand National runner-up in a Listed Mares’ Chase, but there’s an excellent card to take in at Ludlow too. As part of our Daily Tips, I’ve taken a look at each of the runners in Wednesday’s race of the day at Ludlow and come down on the side of an overlooked nine-year-old.

Wednesday’s Race Of The Day at Ludlow

Baby King

Ended last season with victory here at Ludlow, narrowly overcoming a modest field off a mark just one pound lower than this. Stayed on for second behind a useful sort on his reappearance, but was never in a position to challenge for the win and simply picked up the pieces. Definitely respected, but better options in what looks a fairly deep race.

Caid Du Lin

Stayed on to finish second on reappearance at Chepstow over two-and-a-half miles. Then finished fourth in a Listed Handicap at Ascot, before being pulled up in a lesser race on most recent start. Has held his own in better races than this in the past. Recent performances don’t offer too much in the way of encouragement though and could have a job on his hands lugging top-weight around this sharp track.

Court Royale

Finished a solid second on first two starts over fences at the start of the season. Was then backed into favouritism ahead of Hatcher when they met here last month, but fell four from home when just starting to make his move. Now on much better terms with Hatcher, but would still need a career-best display to win here.

Hatcher

Kicked off this season with 18-length fifth in Listed race at Ascot. Task here was made easier when Court Royale fell, but Harry Skelton’s mount still put that race to bed in decisive fashion. Now three from five over fences and looks open to progression beyond current mark. Deserves to be favourite.

Master Work

Came through to claim a convincing win in a messy race at Fontwell on his reappearance. Was then pulled up on heavy ground at Cheltenham, but stayed on here to finish second behind Hatcher here last month. Now in receipt of ten-pounds from his rival, but I doubt even that will be enough for Hobbs’ charge to turn the tables on the favourite.

Movie Legend (near) clears the water jump at Cheltenham last season.

Movie Legend

Enjoyed a consistent season last term, barring a poor outing at Aintree in April where he was vastly outclassed on Grade Three company. Was a little too keen on his reappearance, but was still best placed to chase down the leader entering the home straight, only to get tired late on and finish fourth. Now drops back to what is certainly his best trip and won on first start following a wind-op last season. Looks overpriced.

Spock

100/1 outsider, and for very good reason. 14-year-old whose best performance in last two years was a 13-length defeat behind Baby King here in April. No chance.

Verdict

Hatcher certainly looks a worthy favourite and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dan Skelton’s charge get his head over the line again. Looking through the betting though, I think MOVIE LEGEND has been greatly overlooked and I’m going to side with Lucy Wadham’s nine-year-old.

Movie Legend kicked off last season with a victory over hurdles after a summer-wind op. He then finished second to Bun Doran at Cheltenham and third behind Hells Kitchen and Janika in a hot-handicap at Ascot.

Wadhams’ nine-year-old went on to win twice on good ground at Doncaster and Wetherby, but he has won a couple of times on soft ground in the past and he’s at his most effective over two miles. Both trainer and jockey have been in the winners of late and I could see Movie Legend running a big race.

Today's Best Offers

  • Extra Place Racing Specials
  • Best Odds Guaranteed
  • Lucky Bet Bonuses
  • Best Odds Guaranteed
  • Bet 365 Price Promise
  • ITV Racing 4/1 Offer
  • Best Odds Guaranteed
  • Fail to Finish
  • Extra Place Races