2.45 Windsor – Prerogative
It is to a claimer we go – and we are excited. Excited to see if the Richard Hannon trained Prerogative can finally get off the mark and get his head in front. Claimers are strange races – connections are allowed to dictate how much their horse can be claimed for, and as a result what weight the horse will carry. If a trainer has a high rated horse and wants to nearly guarantee a victory, he or she will offer the horse at a low value. The risk, of course, is that the horse will be snapped up by another owner/trainer. Whilst he doesn’t litter claimers with his runners, Richard Hannon isn’t shy about entering one of his when he wants to get a win on the board.
Prerogative has been entered off a high weight, but that shouldn’t be an issue as he is one of the top rated runners in the contest. We fancy that he will visit the winners’ enclosure at the 17th time of asking, and the son of Rock Of Gibraltar can be backed at best odds of +175 with Coral, Ladbrokes and Bet365.
Prerogative demonstrated some talent as a 2 year old last year, finishing close up in a number of good races, without quite getting to the front by the line. Connections opted to turn Prerogative into a man without his crown jewels and the gelding operation was performed last winter. The horse returned in the spring but seemed to have the same style of running – finishing close up without winning. So why should things be different today? Well firstly, our selection was behind a progressive rival that day and showed good tenacity to hang on to second place in a protracted battle. Secondly, this claimer represents a drop in class. The horse has been racing in mid-grade handicaps and maidens since his debut and will find this opposition easier to handle. Thirdly, Richard Hannon does very well when he has the top or second weighted runner in a claimer and they are in the first three in the betting; 45/98 (46%) for £39 LSP. His horses win 45% more frequently than they are entitled to based on odds. He is the favourite and if he is ever to win a race, it will be today.
5.15 Windsor – Sweet Pursuit
Amateur riders races can be farcical affairs, but there are a couple of stand out jockeys who always ride well and can be relied on. Luckily our fancy in the 6 furlong handicap at Windsor is partnered by one of the best in the business…P Millman. Sweet Pursuit is the name, winning amateur rider handicaps is the game. From the Rod Millman yard, this horse comes in to the contest on the back of a seventh placed finish last time out.
Sweet Pursuit won two handicaps back to back at Lingfield in the summer before finishing third in a big field handicap. His only blip in form came last time out when the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits stepped up to 7 furlongs. The drop back in trip is likely to suit and stall 8 is a reasonable draw. Some parallels can be drawn between Lingfield and Windsor, as both tracks are quite sharp and are undulating. Sweet Pursuit can lead or sit handy which is good at Windsor as the course favours those who race prominently. He is a +350 chance with Bet365.
Rod Millman does very well with his top weights in handicap, especially when they are well supported; 39/229 (17%) for £2 LSP, giving an A/E 1.27. The horse is second favourite and is value.
14:45 Windsor – Prerogative to win
Monday 9th October
17:15 Windsor – Sweet Pursuit to win
Monday 9th October