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1.50 Haydock – Punkawallah
The UK has been hit with a deluge of rain in the last week or so, and the normally fast summer ground has turned into soft underfoot conditions. The change on the going stick has resulted in a number of non-runners and some curious results, but those bettors who can identify horses who should enjoy the squelchy surfaces can make some money. Whilst our selection in the 1.50 at Haydock is yet to demonstrate an ability to handle the soft, the horse didn’t look completely at ease on fast ground when winning last time out, and he may enjoy being able to get his toe in. The bookmakers have factored in the unknown ground conditions into their prices and Punkawallah looks a good bet at 9/2 5.50 +450 4.50 4.50 -0.22 with Bet365.
Punkawallah is a 3 year old gelding by Sepoy. The horse showed only a moderate level of ability in his first three racecourse appearances. The first two of those efforts came on the all-weather last autumn, and whilst finishing positions of ninth then fourth suggested the horse was stepping forward, he regressed on seasonal reappearance over 7 furlongs at Lingfield on the polytrack. That trip was clearly too sharp and connections would have only had the horse half fit with handicaps in mind. The official handicapper didn’t have the wool pulled over his eyes and allotted Dascombe’s runner a mark of 65, which seemed a little steep on what he had achieved on the racecourse – however the mark enabled him to still compete in Class 6 company.
Dascombe stepped up his horse to 10 furlongs for handicap debut at Haydock and added the cheekpieces and these changes worked the oracle, as the horse scored at odds of 10/1 11.00 +1000 10.00 10.00 -0.10 . Didn’t look entirely straightforward, wanting to lug left but Richard Kingscote did a nice job of coaxing the horse home. He has only been raised 2lbs for that success and maybe the soft ground will suit better.
Tom Dascombe does very well with his last time out winners who are off for 4+ weeks; 33/158 (21%) for £63 LSP, with the horses scoring 50% more often than they are entitled to based on odds. Punkawallah has a strong favourite to overcome but he may be capable of progressing.
4.10 Yarmouth – Deciding Vote
Chris Wall is a popular trainer with us at SBO Racing and he does particularly well at one of his local tracks, Yarmouth. His entrant Deciding Vote is a horse who has only had four lifetime starts, and the daughter of Pivotal stepped forward last time out on handicap debut, finishing second at Leicester. She has a good chance of going one better in a wide-open race and can be supported at odds of 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25 with Bet365.
All of Deciding Vote’s runs have come this year, which suggests that the filly is a slow learner. She started off on good ground and didn’t show much on first two runs on a sound surface, but her form improved on third start at Doncaster when she encountered some soft in the going for the first time. Given an official rating of 56 for her handicap debut, the daughter of Pivotal showed up well at Leicester on a testing surface, staying on well to finish second. They may make more use of her this time now connections know she handles the conditions.
There are some compelling statistics that support Deciding Vote’s chances. Chris Wall’s runners do very well when he utilises the services of claiming jockeys on his handicappers; 38/244 (16%) for £31 LSP. Furthermore, Wall’s 3 year olds in 3 year old+ handicaps from June-October are 51/303 (17%) for £62 LSP. Deciding Vote should go close and is value.
13:50 Haydock – Punkawallah to win
Thursday 10th August
Odds: 9/2 5.50 +450 4.50 4.50 -0.22
16:10 Yarmouth – Deciding Vote to win
Thursday 10th August
Odds: 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25
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