Updated 9.02, 9:30 - All selections are now online
THE FIDDLER has not finished closer than sixth in six career starts to date, but leaves the impression there might be a bit more to come and he could be worth chancing in the extended 1m3f maiden handicap at Yarmouth (5.50) after showing a glimmer of promise on his recent return from a break at Windsor.
He was backed as if thought capable of better on each of his first two starts this season, supported from morning odds of 33-1 into 12-1 on his seasonal debut at Nottingham, then the subject of a morning gamble (14-1 in to 9-2) that was sustained to the off at Wolverhampton, when he was unsuited by the way the race was run.
He made some late headway into sixth at Windsor last time, shaping as if a stronger gallop would have suited, never nearer than at the finish (Go Fox, who finished fourth and reopposes, made up more ground from the rear, but didn’t look straightforward off the bridle). He might come on a fair bit for that run, which was his first for three months, and the longer straight at Yarmouth should suit him.
Chris Wall has an excellent record at Yarmouth, especially in handicaps (55-252, 21.8%, +56pts since 2000, whereas his strike rate elsewhere in handicaps is 14%). The Fiddler definitely needs to improve to figure here, but he left the impression at Windsor that he might take a step forward next time and a little improvement would go a long way here.
I was very impressed by FALMOUTH LIGHT's win on his debut for Iain Jardine at Doncaster in June and he looks worth backing in the extended 1m1f handicap at Hamilton (2.50).
He pulled very hard in the early stages on soft ground at Doncaster and could have been expected to fade in the straight, especially as that was his first start for nine months, but he found plenty to kick around four lengths clear at the furlong pole, closed down only late on.
He shaped as if well ahead of his mark that day, but is only 5lb higher here, and there might be plenty more to come for his new yard, especially as he remains unexposed at this sort of trip (he’s out of a Montjeu mare whose sole win came over 1m4f, but Falmouth Light never raced beyond 7f for his previous yard).
He has been withdrawn three times since that race, his trainer keen to avoid quick ground, but underfoot conditions should be suitable today. There should be plenty of pace in the race, which will suit him given how keenly he raced last time, and he might be able to confirm himself as a progressive 3yo here.
Hugh's Best Bets (scale 1-5 points):
1pt win FALMOUTH LIGHT ( 6-1 Coral, bet365, William Hill, 11-2 general)
1pt each way THE FIDDLER ( 25-1 Ladbrokes, 22-1 Coral, Boylesports, 20-1 general)
Hugh gives a daily indication of when the column will be published via Twitter.com (username is HughRacing).
Hugh recorded a +281pts profit for 2016 with a return on investment of 1.44, his highest ROI ever. You can view his monthly figures by clicking the links below:
2017 results ROI 1.46 +282pts
2016 results ROI 1.44 +281pts
2015 results ROI 1.34 +207pts
2014 results ROI 1.32 +199.79pts
2013 results ROI 1.32 +210pts
2012 results ROI 1.31 +222.65pts
2011 results ROI 1.28 +302.64 pts
2010 results ROI 1.23 +324.79 pts
2009 results ROI 1.26 +500.36 pts