He may not be from Barcelona, but we will be keen to see if Manwell can land the feature handicap hurdle at Wetherby (1620 BST). If he does, he will need to play the head waiter.
Manwell opened his account with a smooth win at Uttoxeter for which the handicapper clobbered him with a huge rise. Since then he has dropped a couple of huge hints that there is more to come.
He has twice finished behind Modulus of late (who has won again since). On each occasion Manwell cruised up to joint the lead running to the last, only to empty out and fade on the run-in.
Whilst he clearly has bags of ability at this grade, he also needs delivering as late as possible. A bigger field of runners today should allow for more cover and a chance to creep through late in the race. Better ground may also help him prolong his finishing effort.
It’s a competitive race, but we will very disappointed if we don’t see Manwell stalking the leaders on cruise control. Jockey Jonathan England will have to employ the proverbial balls of steel and delay a challenge until even after the final flight.
There is plenty of money for some of the other lead challengers and that should allow us to get adequately rewarded for the execution risk. Wait Jonathan, wait….
Recommendation: Manwell (1620 Wetherby), 13/2 generally available.
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