Culloden the Brave to Excel at Nottingham

Culloden can follow up a recent win at Nottingham on Tuesday.

Culloden can follow up a recent win at Nottingham on Tuesday.

3.30 Thirsk – Hadley

Twenty runs and zero wins. Sounds like just the sort of horse you wouldn’t want to back right? Wrong. Our selection in the 6-furlong 0-60 handicap at Thirsk is Hadley, and Hadley of the Tracy Waggott stable appears to have a very good chance of going close. The 4-year-old Royal Applause gelding may not have strutted into the winner’s enclosure just yet, but he has been within nibbling distance, not finishing out of the first four in his last nine starts, going close with almost unrelenting regularity. A certainty he is not, but if bettors are looking for a horse who should give his running, get the heart racing and give some excitement, then on a fairly drab day of action, Hadley is the horse.

Hadley has experienced a slightly unusual career for a horse who plies his trade over the shorter distances on the flat. For some very unusual reason, connections thought that the speedy gelding should give hurdling over 2 miles a try. As expected by any knowledgeable bettor, and by the bookmakers, Hadley was beaten out of sight – defeated so badly that he was unable to be awarded a Racing Post Rating for either run. Following on, a return to the flat naturally beckoned and after several moderate efforts and one good one, Waggott reached for the cheekpieces.

The horse clearly has his quirks, as the cheekpieces assisted the gelding somewhat, enabling him to start his ‘place-a-thon’. Thirsk is a track that suits, as Hadley has run a big race in a huge field over course and distance. A hold up performer, he will be benefitted by a fast pace and rivals stopping in front of him in a sudden manner. Hadley ran seven days ago, but that is a positive from the Waggott yard; her runners who turn out within a week are 40/274 (15%) for £87 LSP.

Let us get on the Hadley each-way band wagon at +550  with BetVictor, and hope he can sneak his head in front!

7.25 Nottingham – Culloden

Culloden might be familiar to followers of the SBO Racing section, as the very game and in form Kyllachy gelding scored for us in convincing fashion last time out at Musselburgh. Although not the market leader that day, we were particularly confident as the horse had shown a superb attitude in his previous victory, proving difficult to pass after adopting front running tactics. Things are most certainly tougher on Tuesday night at Nottingham, as the horse has had to endure a 5lb rise in the weights, but Nottingham is a front runners’ track and the soft underfoot condition have already proved to be to Culloden’s liking. Due to the presence of the ‘sexy’ market leader Sitar (a last time out winner and an improving 3-year-old), Culloden is available at a juicy price, and she could even be supported each-way and turn a profit for placing at odds of +650  with BetVictor.

Culloden is 5, and some sprinters that age have put plenty of miles on the clock. Shaun Harris’ runner was no different with a number of racecourse appearances to his name, but he had rarely tried the headgear. Connections decided to reach for the visor this term and the horse has shown a dramatic improvement. After running with credit in the first few starts in the new headgear, Culloden took his form to a new level when winning at Musselburgh, making all on good ground. Followed that up by scoring at Thirsk on good to soft and then completed a Musselburgh sandwich when winning again at the Edinburgh track on soft ground. It is clear the son of Kyllachy appreciates a little cut in the ground. He will try and make all, and while the gelding doesn’t possess the ability of some of his rivals, he is tenacious when leading early.

Shaun Harris is a shrewdy and his horses can rack up back to back successes regularly. He excels with the more mature runners, and his 4 year old+ last time out winners are very profitable; 24/102 (24%) for £83 LSP. They win 60% more frequently than they should based on odds. Let’s hope the likeable Culloden can bounce out and make all again.

Tips Summary

15:30 Thirsk – Hadley each way
Tuesday 15th August
Odds:  +550

19:25 Nottingham – Culloden each way
Tuesday 15th August
Odds:  +650