Monday Racing Tips: Mahland to grab the glory at Exeter

 | March 24 | 

3 mins read

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The Flat season kicked off at Doncaster on Saturday but it’s National Hunt racing that takes centre stage on Monday. Huntingdon is the first meeting to start and it’s swiftly followed by Exeter, before Newcastle’s all-weather card takes us through the evening. 

Amongst our strongest fancies on Monday is one for trainer Mel Rowley that looks particularly interesting on handicap debut. 

Monday Racing Tips

  • 3.20 Exeter - Mahland @ 4/1  
  • 4.35 Huntingdon - Samuel Spade @ 5/2  
  • 5.30 Newcastle - Umberto @ 10/1 

3.20 Exeter - Mahland @ 4/1  

This is a competitive-looking novice handicap hurdle and there are several previous winners in the race. Ben Pauling’s Sun Joy managed to get off the mark at Huntingdon last time out and is clearly progressive, whilst Letthedustsettle won twice at Catterick earlier this season. 

Mel Rowley runs MAHLAND here and this handicap debutant may well be the one to side with. He won a point-to-point last year and has had three starts under rules thus far. 

The six-year-old didn’t show a great deal in his first couple of starts and was beaten by a combined total of 59 lengths. Significant improvement was on display when upped to three miles at Ludlow last time out. Finishing second that day, he wasn’t beaten far and the front two were well clear of the rest. 

Charlie Deutsch is in the saddle and he’s in fine form, having ridden a treble at Bangor on Saturday. There should be any amount of improvement to come and the switch to handicaps should suit.  

His opening mark of 112 looks reasonable enough and further progress is almost guaranteed, if building on that latest effort. 

Mahland at 4/1

4.35 Huntingdon - Samuel Spade @ 5/2  

Watch out for SAMUEL SPADE at Huntingdon as the Ben Pauling-trained gelding has been dropped in grade here and a return to winning ways shouldn't be ruled out. Already a winner this season, he scored comfortably in a 0-130 at Taunton back in December. 

His two subsequent starts in higher grades have been a little underwhelming but the handicapper is beginning to respond accordingly. Having been dropped 2lb for his latest effort, he just about squeezes into this 0-120 and it provides a cracking opportunity. 

He was useful as a juvenile hurdler, having won twice and also finishing second in the Chatteris Fen here. It can be a tough transitional year for five-year-old second season hurdlers so it’s likely that there’s more to come still.  

Currently rated 4lb higher than his last winning mark, he should be very competitive and life will be much easier in this grade.  

Samuel Spade at 5/2

5.30 Newcastle - Umberto @ 10/1 

Newcastle’s feature race is £16,600 Boost Your Acca With BetMGM Handicap and there’s a competitive field of 10 runners set to line up. Kevin Philippart De Foy’s UMBERTO shaped as if he needed the run when weakening in the final furlong at Kempton last month. 

It’s easy to forgive that effort as it was his first run for 196 days and he should be much sharper this time around. The step up to 1m2f may well suit, as he’s related to plenty of winners over this trip. 

One benefit of his below-par latest effort is that the handicapper has dropped his mark by 1lb. He came closer than ever to getting off the mark when second by half-a-length off a 1lb higher mark at Kempton in August and he’s unlikely to be far away here on that evidence.

Umberto at 10/1

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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