Ffos Las Preview: Flintham fancied to fly home
Gold Cup winning trainer Mark Bradstock is having a season he will never forget, and Flintham can provide him with another success in the 2m 6f handicap hurdle at Ffos Las today (3.50).
The gelding is a brother to connections grand old campaigner Carruthers, and out of the same dam as Coneygree who landed the Cheltenham Gold Cup in such terrific style for the yard earlier in the month.
Like that pair, Flintham is a tough front runner and looked a horse to follow when showing improved form to land back-to-back contests at Chepstow and Ascot at the end of last year.
The six-year-old only had to be driven out to beat Princess Tara by 1 3/4 lengths on the first occasion, and the runner up is a useful mare who has won twice since.
Flintham then defied a 6lb rise in the weights to beat The Tourard Man by 1/4 lengths off a mark of 115, jumping slickly and making all before staying on gamely.
The runner-up has won since and finished a cracking third in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and is now rated 139, and the third and fourth home – Spookydooky and Rascal – have both scored twice since.
That is very strong form and suggests that Flintham’s current mark of 130 should not be beyond him.
Top Irish jockey Paul Townend has a terrific strike rate when teaming up with trainer Rebecca Curtis, and Golden Milan looks decent value to provide them with another winner in the 3m handicap hurdle (2.40).
Townend has been succesful on 35% of his rides for the Welsh handler in the past 12 months, resulting in a profit of just over £34 to a £1 level stake.
In Golden Milan he partners an unexposed gelding who looks potentially well-treated on handicap debut.
This seven-year-old has only had four starts under rules, and shaped nicely on the third of those over course and distance when a 7 1/2 length third to Virtuel D’oudon.
The winner has developed into a useful handicapper who has won twice since and is now rated 142, and the runner-up Always Archie is a consistent sort rated 120.
That is strong form in the context of this contest and makes Golden Milan’s opening mark of 110 look very exploitable.
2.40: Golden Milan (NB)
3.15: Cruising Bye
3.50: Flintham (NAP)
4.55: Kilcullen Flem