Horse Racing Tips: Wednesday 4th January 2017

15:55/Jan 04

Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs takes a look at Wednesday’s action from Lingfield and Hereford.

13:45 Lingfield – Ruby Wednesday @ 6/1

The first handicap race at Lingfield on Wednesday afternoon looks as though it could be a real opportunity for John Best’s rather aptly named Ruby Wednesday to strike now upped to two miles for the first time.

The filly remains unexposed over the long distances, but has performed well each time she’s stepped up so far. Having previously won around here over 7f (Class 5) back in March, she went on to put in a series of average performances over both that trip and a mile. However, since tackling the longer distances her runs have improved.

A 4th place finish over 11f at Kempton was a promising start in November, while she continued to shape as though a staying trip is just what’s needed when keeping on well for 2nd over 14f at Chelmsford last time out. The manner in which the four-year-old showed a willing attitude to go forward in the closing stages of that race bodes well. The extra two furlongs in this race could be the key to unlocking further improvement.

In terms of class it would appear that this is an easier contest and it’s unlikely that she’ll bump into anything as well handicapped as the winner of her race last time.

It’s highly likely that we’re yet to see the best from this filly and it’s fancied that the step up in trip here will bring about another enhanced performance.

For a trainer and jockey who generally go well together, Ruby Wednesday, at odds of 6/1, looks a good bet to go one better than her pleasing placed effort last time out.

15:45 Lingfield – Karam Albaari @ 6/1

Karam Albaari – who actually finished close behind the selection above last time out – is another who appears to be presented with a good-looking opportunity; however, unlike Ruby Wednesday, he’s expected to be one who should benefit from the step down.

All things considered – missed the break and came from a long way back before failing to get a clear run – John Jenkins’ entrant made a pleasing return to action at Chelmsford in December and, with that run now under his belt, should be capable of producing better.

Having won three times on the all-weather in his career, including in a Class 3 at this venue, the nine-year-old has several pieces of form on the surface that stand out – form that if repeated, or even something near, would surely make him hard to beat here.

Karam Albaari’s last run over C&D, which came in a Class 5 contest back in the summer, is particularly eye-catching. Having come from a long way off the pace, he made his way through the pack nicely before staying on well for 3rd place. Against weaker opposition here, you can’t help but think that a similar level of performance really would see him right there at the business end.

In the hands of the ultra-experienced George Baker, a jockey booking that is definitely noteworthy, Karam Albaari can certainly go well and is worth supporting at 6/1.

15:55 Hereford – Key To The West @ 25/1 (each-way)

The last at Hereford looks a competitive affair – there are several who have the credentials to go well, but the really interesting one is Key To The West at what could potentially be a very generous 25/1.

The 10-year-old, who runs for local trainer Matt Sheppard, hasn’t been seen at his best in recent times, but his recent reappearance after a lengthy absence wasn’t too disappointing, and on some of his previous hurdle form he might just be well in here.

For his previous yard, the gelding often performed well over hurdles. In fact, his hurdle record at this sort of level, which includes three wins, is pretty impressive, while he also has some useful chase form to his name. Considering his last victory, a convincing one at that, over the smaller obstacles came off a mark of 125 (races off 117 here), it would be no surprise to see him go well if retaining such ability.

Having spent the best part of a year off the track, Key To The West ran an OK race when re-emerging back in early December. In what was perhaps stronger contest than this one, he was never seriously involved but went quietly about his business and finished 5th. That performance, while certainly not the most eye-catching, should definitely have brought him on in terms of fitness and it wouldn’t be the greatest surprise if he had a lot more to give.

We’re certainly not talking about the most reliable of performers, although, if retaining anything like the ability he showcased over timber back in late 2013, he’s  been given a chance by the handicapper in what looks a winnable contest.

All in all, 25/1 is probably too big and Sheppard’s runner is worthy of some each-way money, especially since this race is paying four places.

See more tips here.

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04.01.2017 13:45 BST
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15:55 Hereford
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