Scarlet Minstrel was a fairly useful runner on the flat and the son of Sir Percy has switched codes after joining the Jonjo O’Neill stable from Andrew Balding. After two credible starts in novice/maiden company last summer, O’Neill has given his runner a rest and he makes his first appearance in handicap company off a workable mark of 111. In the first time visor, the 5 year old has a great chance of getting off the mark over timber.
On the flat, Scarlet Minstrel recorded a solitary victory from 16 runs. She did however obtain a second place finish and six thirds, so was often in the frame over staying distances. Started over hurdles running over 2miles at Worcester which is a sharp track, and lacked the turn of pace. Stepped up to 2miles 2.5 furlongs next time out at Stratford (again a course that emphasises speed) and improved, finishing second. The horse had plenty of stamina on the flat and is stepped up to 2mile 5furlongs which really should suit. She can be backed at +250 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes.
As mentioned, Scarlet Minstrel wears the first time visor. Sire Sir Percy does well with his runners wearing this headgear for the first time; 4/27 with a further 7 places for £3 LSP, giving an A/E of -370 . When Jonjo O’Neill applies the first time visor, and his runners are fancied (first or second favourite), they do very well; 8/27 (30%) for £5 LSP, giving an A/E of -385 .
If he is wound up and ready to go, Scarlet Minstrel could be dangerously well handicapped. This is a novice handicap and Jonjo O’Neill has a fantastic record in novice races when his runners are favourite in April-July; 62/124 (50%) for £21 LSP, giving an A/E of -417 .
3 year old only handicaps really are intriguing affairs. Some bettors absolutely despise these races, as they feature a number of unexposed horses who may not have been running to their true ability in previous starts (in order to obtain a favourable handicap mark). However, for those of us who like to take advantage of trainer trends, behaviours and pedigrees etc. these races can provide some value betting opportunities. Chris Wall has a good record in 3 year old only handicaps, and our selection is his runner, the filly, Seyasah. This horse returns from a 202 day absence and enters handicap company after 4 runs in maidens. She actually obtained a handicap mark of 71 prior to her last effort in maiden company at Nottingham in the backend of last season, but connections chose to wait until this year to put her in handicap company.
Seyasah made a very encouraging racecourse debut at Yarmouth last June over 6 furlongs, finishing a relatively close up seventh at odds of +3300 . On the strength of that performance, she was sent off market leader for second start at Leicester. Filled the same berth again and didn’t really take a step forward. Her final run for a handicap mark was at Kempton, where the daughter of Casamento finished fifth and ran well. Off 71 and dropped back to 6 furlongs at Nottingham, she disappointed and was given a winter rest after that run. The break and step back up to 7 furlongs at a course she has run at before may well stimulate a return to form and generate some improvement, and the bonus is that she was dropped 3lbs from her previous mark and now races off 68. Chris Wall runners who are switching from maiden/novice company to handicaps do well; 26/171 (15%) for £40 LSP, giving an A/E -357 . Seyasah is available at odds of +800 with Coral, Bet365 and Ladbrokes and she rates the each-way bet in the race.
16:10 Ludlow – Scarlet Minstrel to win
Tuesday 25th April
16:25 Yarmouth – Seyasah each way
Tuesday 25th April