Stat of the Day, 7th November 2014
Solar Deity was punted from 4/1 into 5/2, and travelled well into the race before nearly being brought down on the home turn – on a night when carnage had ensued in the same place a race earlier. In fairness, he would probably have been beaten about a length with a clear passage, and finished second rather than fifth. Which, from our perspective, would have amounted to the same thing. Minus one point.
Solar Deity will come on for that run and is definitely one to follow at Wolves, as he seemed to act fine on the new tapeta track on his first sight of that. As is the way, of course, the other possible for yesterday, Nexius, won well at 5/2.
To today, and a going specialist in the…
It’s soft ground, with heavy places, and I’m hoping it’s mostly soft because today’s pick, Midnight Belle, goes rather well on that surface. Indeed, she’s won five of her seven starts on soft. More impressively still in the context of this two and a half mile handicap hurdle is that she’s won all five of her handicap starts on soft, and all of them within a furlong of two and a half miles. So we could say she’s well suited by today’s conditions!
She is seven pounds higher than for her latest win, but she’s earned that and there’s no reason to believe she can’t improve again. It’s an open race and one which revolves around a questionable favourite, Royal Moll, who is having her first start since shipping from the Willie Mullins team. How much improvement there is from that yard is an interesting question, even for the talented Greatrex squad, and she looks opposable at shy of 2/1.
Trainer Tom Symonds has won one and placed in three more of the eight races in which he’s saddled a handicap runner at Fontwell, and though he wouldn’t be in fantastic form, he’s not in bad form either. His five handicap hurdle runners have accounted for the winner and all three of the other placed horses which is a boon for the chance of SotD today.
Jockey Felix de Giles rides the course well, with two wins and two further places from his seven starts here in the past year.
Midnight Belle should be able to track the pace-making Hi Note and, if she’s good enough, pounce on the run for home. Don’t leave it too late though, Felix, because not many get beaten when they jump the last in front here..!
If I was in better form, I’d nominate her win only, but it’s been a frustrating/disappointing week since Saturday, so half a point each way is the somewhat lily-livered advice, at a general 7/1.
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