NAP of the Day: 9/4 chance to take modest Wincanton novice

 | January 31 | 

2 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

Taken to provide a timely winning NAP of the Day with the Dublin Racing Festival on the horizon is...

NAP of the Day

  • 14:45 Wincanton - Dartmoor Pirate 9/4

At this time of year, most maiden/novice hurdles - certainly those staged here in the UK - are modest affairs.

The third race at Wincanton on Thursday is another one, with six of the 10 runners for the 1m7f contest easy-enough to rule out.

American Land has a squeak, but ultimately his form leaves plenty to be desired and he's having his first run in 100 days following a wind op - while Salvatore is feared slightly based on some early money on Wednesday night, for all his hurdling debut at Newbury just before Christmas was no good.

For me, though, it's between Dartmoor Pirate and Steel Ally - and the former gets the nod.

Anthony Honeyball's five-year-old showed precious little in bumpers but made the perfect start over hurdles when bolting up by a double-figure margin in a maiden at Wincanton in December.

He then went to Huntingdon the following month and probably took another step forward in coming second to Ben Pauling's Tellherthename. Yes, he was beaten by 14 lengths, but his conqueror that day is a Graded horse in the making.

That's how the formbook reads at least. Tellherthename almost got the better of subsequent Grade 1-winner Jango Baie earlier this term and gave Lucky Place, who was second to Gidleigh Park in a Grade 2 on Trials Day at Cheltenham, a 14-length thrashing next time out.

So, in the context of this race, Dartmoor Pirate boasts strong form and if Steel Ally, who comes here on the back of a non-completion, isn't back to his best, I expect the selection to take all the beating.

Dartmoor Pirate to win the 14.45 Wincanton at 9/4

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