The Black Squirrel (4.10 Carlisle, 22 Feb)

On Saturday
I admit I seemed to have no idea about the handicap hurdle at Ascot. Malaya ran poorly and couldn't keep up with the pace set by Shannon Bridge who was an impressive winner for the Skeltons. Arrivederci ran third. I'm sorry to say that L'Ami Serge, winner of the 2018 Aintree Hurdle, was fatally injured.

Today's Race
4:10 Carlisle
3m1f (Inner) MansionBet Live Casino Cashback Handicap Hurdle (Northern Lights Stayers Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Class 5) (4yo+ 0-105)

Today's Contenders
Bitasweetsymphony is the favourite. There's been moderate support. He ran well again at Doncaster last time but he has to improve on recent runs in handicap hurdles. He's not finished his races well.

Sergeant Brody has come in for support going back up in trip after recent runs at 2 miles for Samuel Drinkwater. The bookmakers seem anxious and have him best-priced at 4/1. 0 wins from 16 races under rules make him opposable at this price.

Fame And Hope is getting closer with each run. Brian Hughes rides. May find one too good again here but the Catterick run is solid form and he's a definite contender. First time blinkers.

Lugg River is a little intriguing. The Kayf Tara mare's bumper form was very promising and she's been disappointing in three hurdle runs since. Richard Johnson booked again for a trainer currently in very good form she looks a potential bet at 8/1 but also looks on a tough mark (105).

Cairnshill has been competitive the last two outings back over hurdles but has made jumping errors. The Johnson team doesn't have a great record but the horse's form from Carlisle back in early 2019 was very good. His mark has slipped down to something very workable (92).

The Black Squirrel put in two very decent efforts when last seen winning a class 5 at Newcastle in November. He returns from wind surgery now. Thoroughly good form in the book. Trainer had a 25/1 winner yesterday. Jockey Jamie Hamilton has a good record here. 2 from 18 wins over hurdles. Ticks a few boxes.

Stolen Money is unexposed on handicap debut but needs to improve. Just Georgie is another to consider returning to hurdles for Sue Smith.

Today's Tip
(To Win) THE BLACK SQUIRREL (13/1 Betfair, 11/1 BetVictor)

Recent Results
20 Feb: 3.00 Ascot Malaya 8th/15 @ 11/1
19 Feb: 6.30 Dundalk (AW) Poetic Choice 6th/14 @ 25/1
18 Feb: 4.15 Sandown Jepeck REF/10 @ 18/1
17 Feb: 3.35 Hereford Oakley Hall 6th/12 @ 12/1
16 Feb: 6.40 Newcastle (AW) Chosen World 5th/10 @ 6/1
15 Feb: 3.55 Warwick Smarty Wild 5th/12 @ 7/2
14 Feb: 4.20 Punchestown Dounikos (E/W) 5th/18 @ 40/1

Account (Level Stakes Profit)
Feb 2021 LSP: +13.8
All 2021 LSP: +13.8

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Returned to Publish0x which has treated me well in the past. And enjoying writing on various subjects in a vaguely anonymous capacity. I'm nearly 50 years old. Music is a passion but there's also horse racing, books, film and oh dear... crypto.

UK Horse Racing Book Reviews
UK Horse Racing Book Reviews

Experienced form student and handicapper. Experience tells me that it's hard to beat the bookies. I publish daily horse racing tips as Sixthformer on OLBG (great sports betting community). Occasional book reviews here.

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