The 12.50 at Uttoxeter is a fascinating contest that sees three fine chasing prospects clash over three miles in what promises to be a thorough stamina test.
Aubusson has been priced up at 4/6 which looks too short despite being the clear pick of the trio over timber. I think there’s a bit of a ‘Tea For Three’ effect here – the impressive nature of the same connections’ horse’s win at Exeter last week meaning this horse is ‘assumed’ to be as good on his first start over the larger obstacles.
While that may be the case, and Aubusson was lovely looking horse when I saw him at Haydock last season, he’s up against a couple of gritty stayers that tick boxes that he doesn’t.
Milansbar is every inch a chaser and jumped like a natural at Wetherby on his seasonal reappearance. He didn’t look fully wound up that day which may be a reason why his jockey set rather lazy fractions, meaning Run Ructions Run was able to do him for toe at the death.
He also made a tired blunder at the last which cost him any chance, but I expect him to step up on that effort with the run in the bag. I would be just slightly concerned that this race comes a bit quick, just 13 days on, although he did win twice last term with just a 10 day break.
Those two victories came at this track, which is so important, and as we know he can jump there’s two ticks to Aubasson’s none. With bottomless reserves of stamina he will take some beating.
However, of even greater interest is Beg To Differ. If you’ve read the five to follow you’ll know I’m very fond of this horse. The fact that connections have chosen to go over fences at this early stage in his career is viewed as a positive, and for the second time over fences they have been happy to take on horses of superior ability over timber.
To me, this implies they believe the horse is capable of running to a much higher mark over fences, and there was plenty to like about his debut at Wetherby when third behind Southfield Royale.
After a few novicey leaps Beg To Differ warmed to his task, looking a threat on the home turn before getting tired. Jonjo had left plenty to work on that day and I reckoned he was only 80 percent fit at best.
As such I’m expecting a giant leap forward this time, and he too has a win at the track under his belt when slugging it out over timber in March. He’s got around a stone to find if he wants to win this but I rate this horse so highly that today could be the day to make a name for himself.
I price this up more like 5/6, 9/4 & 6/1, with the rags 16 & 25. While I have great respect for the front two, Beg To Differ is over-priced at 8/1 across the board at 8.45 this morning and he is the bet.
BEG TO DIFFER 1pt 8/1
Regulars may also want my views on another five to follow horse in Friendly Royal, who goes in a competitive looking 2.20.
Sue Smith's horse relished the step up to 2m 6f at the course last time out after finding the track and trip too sharp at Sedgefield previously. He was a good bet last time but made harder work of it than I thought he would.
He's always shaped like a real stayer so this step back in trip is not in his favour, even in these testing conditions.
With this being a much deeper race, and raised a steep looking 11lb, I won't be reinvesting this time. Or as we used to say, if you didn't attend the wedding, don't go to the funeral.