A Tip For The Browns Advisory Plate On Thursday: Ballyalton Handicapped To Go Close In Browns Advisory Plate
March 14, 2018
The Ian Williams-trained Ballyalton in seven attempts at Prestbury Park has finished out of the first four on only one occasion, in a novice chase back in 2015. As a novice hurdler the son of Pierre was runner-up to none other than Faugheen in the Grade1 Neptune Hurdle four years ago since when the gelding has tasted victory at the four-day extravaganza with a win in the 2016 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase off joint top weight with this season’s King George runner-up Double Shuffle back in third place.
Ballyalton (centre) leads over the final fence before winning the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival Mark Cranham (https://t.co/ko0dRYOrOG) Ballyalton The ground had gone against Ballyalton in the BetVictor at this… https://t.co/BVxs5EzlkU pic.twitter.com/hgR1egejX7— Horse Racing News (@HorseRacingUK) December 14, 2017
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The eleven-year-old won off a mark of 140 there and with just 10st 8lb to carry and now rated 138, the mount of Tom O’Brien is poised to run another big race at the home of national hunt racing in Thursday’s Browns Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. After being absent for eighteen months due to injury Ballyalton ran a promising race over hurdles at Aintree on his reappearance and followed that with a couple of placed efforts in valuable handicaps at Cheltenham.
On his most recent start at Kempton the horse pulled far too hard before being pulled up and it is best to put a line through that run. Dropped 5lb by the handicapper since that run two months ago Ballyalton is sure to have been trained with the festival in mind and at 20-1 can run another big race at the meeting.
The dark horse of the race is the David Pipe-trained King’s Socks who has had just the one run for connections since coming from France and could be well handicapped on a mark of 140 while the Irish hold a strong hand with The Storyteller, Tully East and Last Goodbye. On a track where he clearly excels however Ballyalton is fancied to win for a second time at the festival.
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