Horse Racing Tips: Wednesday 11th January 2016
14:40 Taunton – Sleep Easy @ 8/1
The unexposed Sleep Easy for Neil Mulholland, now stepping up in trip, is one who catches the eye in the 14:40 at Taunton.
Having brushed aside a field of nine when comfortably winning on hurdle debut back in March 2016 at Stratford – form that is definitely a positive given the similarities Stratford and Taunton share in terms of track style – the five-year-old has performed with plenty of credit on both of his starts in handicap company since reappearing in October.
His 3rd at Fontwell behind two useful types (both of whom have gone on to win decent races since) looks like solid form, while hitting the frame at Doncaster last time out in a race that probably had a bit more strength in depth than this contest is also respectable.
Given the manner in which he’s shaped on both occasions this season, the extra distance here looks as though it’ll suit nicely, while the booking of Noel Fehily – a jockey who rides Taunton very well (23% strike rate) – also bodes well.
Against some far more exposed types, Sleep Easy probably won’t need to do much more than he already has, although it’s highly unlikely that we’ve seen the best of him just yet.
Fehily and Mullholland have struck up a very respectable rapport in recent times, boasting a 20% strike rate, while they’ve hit the place-money a total of 142 times from 373 runners (37.5%).
All things considered, Sleep Easy looks to have plenty in favour here and, if capable of building on what appears to be a solid foundation, he’s certainly worth a go at 15/2.
14:50 Hereford – Courtown Oscar @ 12/1 (each-way)
Phillip Kirby’s runner in the 14:50 at Hereford is one who could easily be overpriced now back over hurdles and makes plenty of appeal as a viable each-way selection.
Not only does the booking of Davy Russell catch the eye, but the eight-year-old has plenty of encouraging form over the longer distances – form which suggests he could easily run a big race here if all is well.
Perhaps the most eye-catching thing with this horse is that fact that he’s unbeaten at this distance over the smaller obstacles. Putting it like that probably makes this sound more impressive than it is, but two convincing wins from two hurdle races over this trip is certainly encouraging. Those runs did come some time ago (the most recent being December 2015), but it’s form that’s fairly hard to ignore.
We’re certainly not talking about the most reliable of types but he is a proven stayer with plenty of solid form in the book. And anyway, in such races, reliable animals are a fairly rare commodity.
He may have disappointed when pulling up in a very warm Class 2 chase contest last time out, but it would be wrong to discount him here based on that run alone. Prior to that failure, his 4th place finish over timber on seasonal reappearance was certainly respectable after a 244 day lay-off and if building on that in a race such as this it would be a surprise if he didn’t go well.
At a nice price, Courtown Oscar could surprise a few and bounce back from a disappointing spin over fences by running a nice race. Given that there’s question marks over just about every runner in this field, it’s definitely worth getting some each-way money down on Kirby’s gelding.
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