2.10 Haydock – King Of Scotland
Hughie Morrison doesn’t seem to have been as active in recent years, but when he does saddle a runner, they should always command respect. A veteran of the game, the Berkshire based trainer is able to get his horses fit for the racecourse when they come off a break, and that is ideal as his entry in the 2.10 12 furlong handicap at Haydock. King Of Scotland is returning from a 3 month break. A winner on his penultimate start, the son of Rip Van Winkle disappointed when going off as a favourite last time out in June, and connections clearly decided to give the 3 year old some time off to determine why that effort was below par. In a very winnable race, Morrison’s runner can be supported at generous odds of +500 with Bet365 and assuming everything is sound with the horse, his odds should contract as the race time approaches.
King Of Scotland ran moderately on all three of his maiden runs and didn’t display too much promise. Was allotted a handicap mark of 62 which seemed a little stiff given his accomplishments on the race track, and Morrison and the yard obviously didn’t think they had a good thing, as the horse was allowed to go off at odds of +1600 for his handicap debut. Despite the lack of market support, the horse relished the step up in trip and switch to a soft surface, grinding his rivals into submission. The follow up attempt for that success came at Lingfield on good ground. The tracks couldn’t be more different and the horse came unstuck, finishing well down the field. Today, he is back on a galloping course and is running on heavy ground, so the conditions are much more akin to the horse’s winning effort at Leicester. Hughie Morrison has applied the first time cheekpieces to give the horse a concentration aid.
As mentioned, Morrison is a deft hand at getting a horse ready from a break, and that theory is supported by the facts – his handicappers returning from an 8+ week layoff are very profitable; 64/405 (16%) for £64 LSP, giving an A/E of 1.28. This horse is a live one.
7.45 Newcastle – Shesthedream
If we had to select a Top 5 trainers list, David Barron would definitely make it. He always has to be respected and this Northern trainer is shrewd in the betting ring. He operates at a high strike rate and places his horses very well. Barron saddles a last time out winner Shesthedream and although this 4 year old Dream Ahead filly has been off the track for 154 days, she has a great chance of recording back to back successes. In an open race on paper, she can be supported at odds of +450 with Bet365 and Coral.
Shesthedream ran 6 races for David O’Meara back in 2016 and failed to win. She moved to David Barron in April of this year and rewarded that switch with instant success, scoring at Doncaster (ironic, as it is normally David O’Meara who takes on horses from other stables and improves them). The horse dwelt early and was outpaced at Doncaster before staying on to get up late in the day. A slow start is not necessarily an issue at Newcastle either, as the track is a straight 6 furlongs which really favours horses who have a galloping style of running.
David Barron clears up at this time of the year – his runners in 3 year old+ handicap company from August-February are 77/443 (17%) for £138 LSP, with the horses scoring 45% more often than they are entitled to based on odds.
14:10 Haydock – King of Scotland to win
Friday 29th September
19:45 Newcastle – Shesthedream to win
Friday 29th September