4 miles 1 furlong at Uttoxeter on soft ground takes some getting, whilst the statistics suggest it’s extremely hard to carry weight in this race.
Only one of the last ten winners has carried more than 11-0, with nine winners carrying 10-12 or less (7 carried 10-3 or less), and it seems a good idea to avoid the top 12 horses in the race.
His trainer Jonjo O’Neill won this race in 2010 with Synchronised who went onto win the Gold Cup in 2012. Runs off the same mark as when visually very impressive over 30 furlongs at Exeter on similar ground and must have every chance.
Finished last on his only course start, whilst he’s done all his winning when good appeared in the going description. Furthest he’s run over is 26 furlongs and probably needs the extra 7 furlongs to bring about massive improvement to get involved.
Cadeau George 28/1
Only a 6-year-old and therefore probably has plenty of room for improvement if the step-up in trip from 3 miles suits him. However he’s worse off at the weights with bottom-weight Foxridge, despite finishing second to him last time.
Woodford County 18/1
Ran an excellent race over a similar trip in the Eider Chase last time, and has plenty of form on this sort of ground. Also won his only start at the course and his apprentice jockey takes his weight down to a handy looking 10-1. Just 4lb higher in the handicap than for his last win and looks to have a better chance than his odds suggest
Proven on the ground and has won his last three races in decent style over 3-miles. The extra distance of this race could bring out further improvement – but the stable form is a little bit of a worry.
Favourite Catching On is the least exposed of the quintet the statistics left us with, but he looks incredibly short. He may well win, but I much prefer to take a chance on Woodland County who carries an ideal weight and is proven on the track, over the trip, and on the ground.
Woodland County 2.5 points each-way @ 18/1 (Bet Victor or Paddy Power)