Thursday 3rd March:

#NAP – PICANHA (3.30 Ludlow) – This eight-year-old won on his penultimate start at Warwick, over a half-furlong shorter when staying-on well and can be forgiven his latest start at Cheltenham, when a held fourth in a Grade 2. He now steps into handicap company where hopefully he can find plenty of improvement, and an opening mark of 122 could well be within range in this field. He won his sole point and bumper before having almost two-years off the track, but returned to action with a solid third behind 139-rated chaser Ask Me Early. Nicky Henderson has an unexposed favourite here, who could thrive in handicaps, but I’m also hoping this gelding can as well. (7/2) – Betfred – 1pt – 2nd (-1)

#NB – LARKBARROW LAD (3.38 Taunton) – This nine-year-old has dropped down in the ratings, and is becoming very well handicap over fences, compared to his hurdle mark of 132. He was rated 122 at the beginning of this season, but he’s now able to compete off 110, having not been in his best form so far this term. However, his latest effort (posted last week) was much more like it, when beaten only three-lengths over this C&D in a slightly better race than this. If he is able to reproduce, or even find a little bit extra, then I believe this son of Kayf Tara is ready to strike again. His only handicap win, which came over hurdles, was achieved off an 18lb higher mark back in 2019 (which is a slight worry that it’s been that long in between drinks), but his trainer Phillip Hobbs has been in good form of late and he also saddled the winner of this race 12 months ago. (9/2) – Bet365 – 1pt – 2nd (-1)

Stake: 2pts

March P/L: +0.7pts

Overall P/L (Sept ’17-present): +620.76pts

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