4:20 – Wincanton – BATHWICK TYRES BATH NOVICES´ HANDICAP HURDLE (CLASS 4) (3yo+ 0-115) Good To Soft, Soft in places 2m4f
Shockingtimes makes his seasonal reappearance at Wincanton this afternoon and is the rank outsider in the 10 runner field. This is not surprising when in three runs under rules he has finished 4th twice (beaten a total of 36 ½ lengths) before being pulled up on his final start of last season. However, all three of his runs over hurdles to date have come over 2 mile ½ furlong and 2 miles 1 furlong. He is stepping up in trip today and this could well be the key to an improved performance.
Charlie Mann bought Shockingtimes at Brightwells Cheltenham Premier Sales in May 2011 for £35,000 after he had had a short point to point career in Ireland. In three starts on point to points, Shockingtimes won once and was placed 2nd once. His won over 3 miles and his placed effort came over today’s trip of 2 miles 4 furlongs. He appears to have shown plenty of tactical speed over the trip as he lead or disputed the lead before going to the front 5 fences from home before being headed at the last. He showed that he has got some resolution as he fought back to lead with a faster jump over the final jump only to be headed on the run in, going down by a length.
Underfoot conditions should suit today, given as Good to Soft, Soft in places with 8mm of rain overnight, as he ran a decent race on his hurdles debut at Doncaster last December in Good to Soft ground and his placed effort over this trip at Liscarroll also came in Good to Soft going. His win over 3 miles at Dawstown came in Soft ground.
Sam Thomas rides Shockingtimes again today, having ridden him on his final run of last season. Sam has a reasonable strike rate at Wincanton, winning 11 times from 67 runs over the last 5 seasons.
Please be aware that Shockingtimes is a somewhat speculative selection today, especially as he is up against Ivor’s King who won very impressively at Exeter last week under an enterprising front running performance. However, that run came in desperate ground and Ivor’s King was very tired at the end and has only been given 7 days to get over it. As for the rest of the field, there is nothing that jumps off the page and it is possible that Shockingtimes could run into a place now that he has been put up in trip, especially as there is likely to be a decent gallop set by Ivor’s King. At current odds of 25/1 we do not need to risk much to find out if going up in trip is the answer to Shockingtimes in ground that he is likely to run well in.