It could be academic with the weather closing in, but if Friday’s jumpers’ bumpers card gets the go ahead then it could provide some interest as we wait for the thaw.
We’ll get stuck in with the card’s opener. The conditions of these races are essentially level weights, subject to sex and age allowances. However, the field have all been active over jumps and in many case on the flat – giving us two set of handicap ratings by which to measure ability.
Trainer Kerry Lee’s Magic Dancer has compelling claims on all measures. Over jumps he is rated 124, being 9lbs ahead of nearest rival Swashbuckle, and 14lbs and more ahead of the rest.
Jumps form is not always trustworthy for flat racing, but in Magic Dancer’s case his flat rating of 90, is again the highest. On flat ratings he has only 4lbs on Swashbuckle, but that rival didn’t look his best when beaten nearly 20 lengths when reverting to that flat rating recently.
Fellow market rival Shine Baby Shine doesn’t yet have a jump racing, but on her flat rating of 61 she has a huge amount to find.
All these facts and figures point in one direction, but potentially even more compelling is the recent form, with Magic Dance winning a good Cheltenham handicap in November before a decent 7th of 17 behind Hunters Call in one of the leading handicap hurdles of the season at Ascot. That is form far beyond the capabilities of his rivals here.
Recommendation: Magic Dancer, (1345 Southwell), 1pt win, 7/4 generally available.
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