Racing on Wednesday in the UK and Ireland takes place at Bath, Carlisle, Kempton, Punchestown, Southwell, Tramore and Uttoxeter.
One of our fancies runs at Bath, where a recent nursery winner can defy a penalty on his back to complete a quickfire double at the track for trainer Richard Hughes.
14:50 Bath – Irrelevant @ 5/6
Irrelevanttook advantage of a mark of 54 to score in a nursery at Kempton (7f) last Friday. He looked like the obvious winner a long way from home and once he hit the front with two furlongs to go, he soon stretched away from his rivals for a five-length success.
The first-time blinkers, which clearly helped at Kempton, remain on again and he is now stepping up to 1m, a distance which should suit the son of Ribchester based on his breeding and performance earlier this month.
Richard Hughes’ gelding features on the Betfred Betfinder as one of the Most Napped selections today. He will need to carry a 6lb penalty, but he is set to go up a further 3lb in the future, so he is well in at the weights in this class six nursery at Bath.
14:55 Punchestown – Hannibal Barca @ 7/4
Not only did Hannibal Barca win a Group 3 contest last season on his stable debut, but he also ran in the Group One Irish Derby in the race won by Westover. He now makes a return to action in a much weaker contest than he is used to featuring in.
The son of Zoffany has been highly rated by his connections ever since he finished a close fourth in the Group One Futurity Trophy behind Luxembourg as a two-year-old. Unfortunately, he has not quite had the same fortune as the Doncaster winner since then.
The four-year-old is now making his first appearance since being gelded. Off level weights with inferior horses, if he shows anything close to what he is capable of in this race at Punchestown, he should be able to get back to winning ways for trainer Joseph O’Brien.
18:15 Southwell – Aphelios e/w @ 5/1
Three-time winner sprinter Aphelios stepped up to 7f for the first time in his career at Kempton earlier this month and he appreciated the extra distance in that race, scoring by just under a length.
Michael Appleby’s gelding showed all his speed in the final furlong at Kempton, powering home to get up late on. So expect to see the horse tucked away again here, before a challenge comes in the closing stages.
The son of Kodiac must carry a 5lb penalty for his recent success, but with claimer Frederick Larson on board this time, 3lb of that comes off his back. This looks like a good chance for him to successfully follow up.
Betfred are paying Extra Places at 1/5 the odds on this – in fact, ALL races at Southwell on Wednesday night – so I’m suggesting this one each-way.