Novices in handicaps are always a gamble. On the plus side they are young, unexposed and open to plenty of improvement, making them tough for the handicapper to assess, on the down side, inexperience can lead to their downfall. These factors are multiplied several times over when the novice is a juvenile.
That is the puzzle posed by Taxmeifyoucan in Kelso’s Totescoop6 Hurdle (1445). The Keith Dalgleish trained 4yo had been mixing flat and hurdles form, but it was his last run when winning here that has established his claim.
He ran that day as a juvenile against older novices, and ran out a tidy winner over Sam’s Gunner with the rest well beaten. That was a well run race under conditions pretty much identical to those he faces here, and the form took a mighty boost when the runner-up followed up by winning the hugely competitive EBF final at Sandown. That horse is now rated 136, so Taxmeifyoucan’s mark of 130 could look about 10lbs well in.
He gets to carry a low weight (10st 11) as a result of his age allowance (6lbs) and has top Northern based jockey Brian Hughes on board.
It is a valuable prize so there is no shortage of opposition, but they mostly look exposed and the favourite is the one horse in the race that could have those pounds in hand. Worth a decent bet.
Recommendation: Taxmeifyoucan, (1445 Kelso), 2pts win, 10/3 Corals
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