I always find this an unusual week for racing, as the flat season is officially underway after Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting at the weekend, but there is no turf racing in the UK until Musselburgh on Saturday.
Today’s National Hunt cards look pretty trappy, but I like the look of one at a big price over hurdles at Wincanton (4.00pm).
40-1 chance Madam Deluxe was purchased for £90,000 after finishing second in an Irish point and went on to run a creditable fourth on her only start for Nicky Henderson later that year, before being offloaded last summer.
She showed only a glimmer of ability in her first two starts for Jennifer Mason, but I thought there were plenty of positives to take from her run at Doncaster on her return from a couple of months off at the beginning of March and at 40-1, she is worth chancing today.
That was a 0-130 (albeit the top-rated was running off 119) and it was plenty competitive enough, despite the top-weight being some way off the ceiling for the grade. Over 2m and on good ground, I thought she travelled nicely through the race, but made a bad mistake at the third-last just as the pace was quickening. That’s not to say she would’ve finished in the frame, but she would have been a few lengths closer. It is worth noting the fifth won on her next outing (again in a class 3) and the sixth was second next time out, so the form has already been well-advertised.
This is very much a drop in grade and though a case can be made for a few of them if they can rediscover their form, it is far from the strongest 0-110. The extra five furlongs looks a good move and a 5lbs drop in the weights is another help. Her yard doesn’t get many winners, but they did have a 20-1 scorer here in October, as well as a 40-1 winner on second start back from a break (like this one) earlier this month.
4.00pm Wincanton – 0.5pts each-way Madam Deluxe 40-1 4 places (WIlliam Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair, Skybet (5 places), Boylesports)