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Get into the ‘Spirit’ of backing a winner

Published: 
Saturday, February 10, 2018

Spiritofthegames ticks enough boxes for an each-way bet in the twenty-four runner Betfair (‘Schweppes!’) Handicap over two miles of ‘soft’ Newbury today; four places available, Bridget Andrews claims 3lbs conditional jockey allowance and so many other reasons why my ‘pin’ fell on this consistent, progressive, Dan Skelton-trained six-year-old.

Nowadays I’m reluctant to delve into the National Hunt world, knowing race-times supplied by newspapers are so innaccurate, but this is where yours truly came in as a youngster, analysing what has always been a truly fascinating handicap. Spiritofthegames definitely justifies interest.

Only four weeks ago ‘Spirit’ achieved a ‘career-best’ time-handicap mark when third over an extended two and a half miles of Kempton, ridden by Bridget who, apparently, is engaged to stable jockey, Harry; interestingly blinkers will be fitted on this occasion!

Stamina was always an issue for this great ‘cavalry charge’ and with all the pluses mentioned we sally forth in the best possible ‘Spirit’ armed with technological weaponry.

Running in tandem will be a seven-raced Lingfield polytrack fixture which provides an excellent opportunity for multi-raced Gabriel The Devil, one of eight ‘decs’ for a Novice Median Auction Stakes over five furlongs.

‘Gabriel’ is ideally suited to six furlongs, judged on two tapeta efforts at Wolverhampton and Newcastle; trainer, David O’Meara, has gone the ‘whole hog’ coming back to the minimum trip, a ploy we
used successfully so many times during my productive ownership spell.

I’ll bet it pays off because, significantly,that last run was also a  ‘career-best!’=

£45000 is on offer for an ‘aged’ Sprint Handicap over five furlongs of Dunstall Park tonight and what beats Roger Varian-trained Atletico will win.

This could be a ‘big’ year for Atletico, and Roger!

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