Author: Will Smith
Published: 09:28 28/12/2013
As on Boxing Day, despite a whole host of top notch racing to go at, the one bet for Saturday’s racing comes from one of the National Hunt game’s more rustic outposts.
Mansonien L’As dotted up for us at Towcester, and I can well see Carmela Maria notching course and distance win number four at her beloved Catterick late on Saturday.
The last three campaigns her trainer Mike Sowersby has clearly planned everything around two 3m 1½f handicap hurdles in December at the North Yorkshire venue.
In 2011, she won on the 13th and 28th of this month, while in 2012 she won on the 18th and then was cruising all over her field on the 28th, only to fall at the fourth last.
She then attempted to settle the score 11 days ago but the usually reliably wet English winter deserted her and the race was run on good ground. She was predictably outpaced but then fairly flew up the straight to be beaten just 19 lengths by the reopposing Pudsey House.
All her other attempts at winning here had been on her preferred soft ground, which she will get tomorrow.
Most of her rivals won’t enjoy the testing terrain or won’t stay the extended three miles, and as a backer, do not despair if she has a few lengths to find as she freewheels down the slope into the straight, as she will be coming home faster than anything.
She should not be a 17/2 shot with 888Sport, and has everything in her favour to run a big race.
Meanwhile there is exciting action at Newbury including a belting renewal of the Challow Hurdle, the Lexus Chase looks a tricky puzzle at Leopardstown, and of course the Welsh National will be slogged out at Chepstow.
I am more than happy with the 8/1 and 11/1 already advised about Goonyella and Merry King for that. While in the once prestigious Mandarin Chase at Newbury, Restless Harry looks a nice price at 8/1.
He can be something of an enigma however and probably isn’t a solid betting proposition, unlike dear Carmela Maria.
Catterick 3.35: Carmela Maria (each-way) – 17/2 (888Sport)