Published: 08:31 05/12/2014
It is not often that you can back a horse at 12/1 in a handicap off a BHA mark of just 114, in the same calendar year as when finishing fourth in a Cheltenham festival race, beaten just 2¼ lengths. The distance of the race is the same as at the festival, the ground is officially very similar and it is over the same obstacles as the race in March. What’s more, the trainer concerned is in cracking form.
The horse has had a prep run and wears a first-time visor, which will hopefully bring about some improvement – not that I think it needs to, but the application of such suggests the stable mean business.
On the aforementioned prep run, our 12/1 shot receives a weight turnaround of 17lbs with the current 3/1 favourite for today’s race. With half a mile to run of said contest, there was nothing between them, when lack of a recent run perhaps just began to tell on the fitness of our selection on heavy ground.
Do you need any more clues? The horse is Adrenalin Flight, fourth in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at the festival, trained by Seamus Mullins, and who ran well for a long way in the Southern National at Fontwell Park behind the re-opposing Gorgehous Lliege. Anything trained by Venetia Williams at the moment is going off favourite, which in this case ensures a lovely price about a horse who encounters his optimum conditions for the first time since March.
A lot of people have said that he was flattered by the festival form, but that is nonsense. Sift through the form and you will find solid evidence of every single horse in the race being rated in excess of 120. Yet Adrenalin Flight was 100/1 for that race and went into it rated 114.
He is back on that same mark and ran some good races after receiving an inevitable hike in the weights, in contests such as the John Smith’s Summer Cup (which has worked out well) and a valuable race at Newton Abbot.
Freshened up since, and with a fitness edge on him from Fontwell, I could scarcely believe my eyes at the 12/1 on offer from William Hill.
Devon Marathon, Exeter 3.20 - Adrenalin Flight (each way) 12/1 William Hill