Donald McCain was showing off his Cheltenham hopefuls to the media on Tuesday, but it is to the more rustic, homely comforts of his local track Bangor that he turns to on Wednesday. Perhaps aside from Cheltenham, Bangor is the course he loves to have winners at most.
In the 3m handicap hurdle at 3.20, his Corrin Wood is currently available at 9/4. It is not usually my kind of price, but when you consider that I strongly believe he should be half the price and a strong favourite, then it makes for an appealing bet.
Ever since he went down fighting to Gevrey Chambertin, just losing out in a titanic tussle up the Haydock straight in November, he has been on my radar. Gevrey Chambertin has since absolutely sluiced up in a handicap off a mark of 130, and his trainer David Pipe feels there may be leverage off his new mark of 145 in one of the Cheltenham festival handicaps.
Since that day, Corrin Wood has hacked up in a Carlisle novice hurdle, flopped forgivably in bottomless ground at Kelso, and then run a cracker in defeat in a Pertemps qualifier back at Carlisle. The winner that day, Jonjo O’Neill’s Shutthefrontdoor, won two listed bumpers last year and holds multiple festival entries. The second, Ardkilly Witness, has since finished second in a Grade 1. The fourth Knockara Beau had previously been beaten just under ten lengths in the Grade 1 Cleeve Hurdle behind Reve De Sivola. While the fifth, Lucinda Russell’s Green Flag, is the best young horse that she trains.
This is a much easier race than that Carlisle qualifier, and McCain’s future chaser was only beaten 9 lengths in that. Racing off the same mark of 127 – which vastly underestimates his ability – I can see Corrin Wood being very well backed and winning suitable easily.
Corrin Wood – 9/4 (Totesport, Ladbrokes, Betfred)