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Ludlow and Southwell previews: Casino can strike Gold

| 03.03.2016

David Metcalf | March 3, 2016

Casino has a Big chance in feature race at Ludlow

The Forbra Gold Cup Handicap Chase is the feature race on an excellent card at Ludlow (15.40), and Big Casino looks decent value to land the spoils in the 2m 7f contest.

Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, the gelding was last successful at Haydock eight months ago when making all and staying on gamely to beat Cloud Creeper by five lengths in a class 2 contest off a mark of 124.

Big Casino got put up to 132 for that victory and has failed to trouble the judge in three starts this season.

However, the 10-year-old shaped better than the bare result suggests in the first two of those in competitive affairs at Cheltenham and Newbury and is now able to race in this lower grade class 3 contest off a reduced rating of 127.

That gives Big Casino major claims at the weights on the pick of his form, and connections have given the son of Court Cave a break to freshen up since disappointing at Ascot when last seen in action.

Horse Racing - Nigel Twiston-Davies Stable Visit - Grange Hill Farm

Big Casino has won and been placed in the past after a lay-off, and with Wayne Hutchinson in the saddle everything looks in place for a big run.

What Happens Now can collect for McCain

Cheshire-based trainer Donald McCain has been back amongst the winners of late, and What Happens Now can provide him with another success in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (14.30).

The gelding was a dual point winner whose best effort under rules came when third to Barney Dwan at Sedgefield two starts back.

Although not match for the easy winner, What Happens Now only weakened late on to be beaten 13 lengths and Barney Dwan is a useful sort rated 129.

The runner-up Just Georgie has also run well to be placed since and is now rated 115, and that makes What Happen Now look potentially well-treated off a rating of 107.

Although the seven-year-old failed to fire last time out when well beaten at Musselburgh, it remains early days and it would be no surprise to see What Happens Now bounce back now that the stable is finally beginning to fire after a spell in the doldrums.


13.55: Querry Horse
14.30: What Happens Now (NB)
15.05: Grimley Girl
15.40: Big Casino (NAP)
16.15: Pulling Power
16.50: Monkey Kingdom
17.25: Apterix

Deep Resolve weighted to strike at Southwell

Deep Resolve has shaped as if returning to form and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 1m apprentice handicap on today’s card at Southwell (16.35).

The Alan Swinbank trained gelding is a course winner who was last successful on the turf at Haydock six months ago when beating The Ducking Stool by a head off a mark of 65.

Deep Resolve went on to finish a solid fourth at Catterick off 68, and also ran well when fourth at this venue off the same rating.

The five-year-old is now able to race off the same mark as when last victorious, and comes into the contest on the back of two solid efforts.

After finishing 1 3/4 length runner-up over course and distance, Deep Resolve ran far better than the bare result suggest when fourth at the track last time out after being slowly away and asked to make up the lost ground far too quickly.

Those runs suggest that Deep Resolve’s time is near, and if getting away better the son of Intense Focus holds leading claims of getting back on the scoresheet.


Colourbearer ready to cut a dash

In the 6f handicap (14.50), the well-treated Colourbearer can go well at a big price now dropped in class.

The Charlie Wallis trained gelding was in terrific form last spring when rattling up a hat-trick, winning twice over course and distance off marks of 64 and 69 before scoring at Lingfield off 75.

Colourbearer has failed to trouble the judge in nine subsequent outings, but as a result the nine-year-old is now able to race off a reduced rating just 65.

That is 10lb lower than when last victorious, and gives Colourbearer major claims from a handicapping perspective.

Although Colourbearer has not been at his best in three starts after 103 days on the sidelines, those runs have come in class 5 contests and it would be no surprise to see him put in a much improved showing now dropped down into class 6 company.


13.45: Kestrel Call
14.15: Phantom Flipper
14.50: Colourbearer (NB)
15.25: Ralphy Lad
16.00: Frosty The Snowwman
16.35: Deep Resolve (NAP)


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.