3.00 2m4f Class 3 Handicap Chase – Bally Longford 4/1
Once a 136 rated chaser who won off this mark of 126 around this time last year around a similar galloping track with today’s jockey Harry Cobden, since then he’s been very consistent in some tough races over fences with his handicap mark handily dropping, he ran a fine race LTO under apprentice jockey Ben Godfrey over today’s C&D but bumped into a well-treated rival in Enola Gay. Today he’s eased further back down to a last winning mark, Harry Cobden who gets a fine tune out of the gelding is back onboard and has a exceptional record at Wincanton with 49 winners from 165 rides, a strong 30% strike rate with a cool +£29.47 profit backing to level stakes blind, he crazily has +£28.26 LSP alone there this season with a 28% strike rate, so one to follow at the course for sure.
3.10 2m3f Class 3 Handicap Chase – Town Parks 5/2
A winner early last year in a novice off this 128 mark around a similar flat sharp track, since had been well under form and also a little unfortunate but has started the year in much light when a good 2nd in February and then building on that when a big display over a sharp 2 miles in March at Hereford, today the step back up in trip will be a big benefit, he’ll enjoy the course characteristics and a eye catching jockey booking with Richard Johnston onboard, who is having his usual consistent season and loves Stratford, he has a huge £87.64 career LSP over fences at the course and a cool 30% strike rate over the course this season with 12 winners from 40 rides.
4.20 2m Class 4 Mares Handicap Hurdle – Its All A Lark 2/1
This mare bolted up at Kelso on debut for his new yard under jockey Abbie McCain after big support in the market, she went up 7lb for and was quickly turned out, while a credible 2nd, she didn’t show the sparkle she showed on debut, maybe running a little too soon or maybe the more testing ground against, either way she showed her previous best NTO and when last seen when making all in a stronger race at Doncaster under Brian Hughes, she gets another 7lb rise for that, but drops into a easier grade, Abbie McCain takes back over the reins which handily eases 5lbs of her penalty, the ground is in favour and with no early pace in this, she’ll likely get her own way and the progressive mare should be hard to pass.
Russell Blair Racing