Wednesday’s racing tips – 15/8 NAP to lead Nicholls’ army at Wincanton

Capitaine (left) winning the Supreme Trial at Ascot back in his novice days.

Capitaine (left) winning the Supreme Trial at Ascot back in his novice days.

Our expert takes a look through all of Wednesday’s races and selects a prime contender in a handicap at Wincanton as his NAP of the day with Unibet.

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3:45pm Wincanton Follow @racingtv On Instagram Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 2m4f

Magical Thomas may be searching for a hat-trick, but both of his most recent victories came in modest races very in Jersey – modest a rather kind description of the fields he beat in both races. Percy Street won an identical race to this back in May, but hasn’t shown any sort of form since then and Irish Prophecy hasn’t finished within ten lengths of his rivals on any of his last six starts over obstacles.

This, then, looks an excellent opportunity for top-weight CAPITAINE (NAP) to strike. We all know how well Paul Nicholls’ horses run around Wincanton and the favourite should relish the fast underfoot conditions as he steps up to two-and-a-half miles for the first time.

Once a youngster with Grade One aspirations, having finished a close second to the brilliant Finian’s Oscar in the 2017 Tolworth Hurdle, Capitaine has endured a marked slide down the ratings over the past 18 months. A heavy fall on his third start as a novice chaser saw Nicholls drop his charge back to hurdling in April 2018 and Capitaine hasn’t really looked the same since.

Last season, however, a wind operation sparked an upturn in form. On his first start following that procedure, Harry Cobden’s mount struck in a valuable handicap at Taunton, beating Sternrubin and Anemoi by a couple of lengths. This will be his first start following a second wind operation and Nicholls’ charge loves firm, bouncy ground, having bounded home to win by nine lengths on the only occasion he has encountered good to form.

This extended trip, plus the fact he must give over two stone to Magical Thomas at the weights, are slight causes for concern. Yet, Capitaine is unbeaten in three starts here at Wincanton and if he can run up to the ability he showed he still possessed last season, then he should have the beating of this fairly modest field. 15/8 could look a very decent price come 4:00pm this afternoon.