Ludlow Preview: Like Minded weighted to go well
Ludlow stage a decent six-race card today and Like Minded looks weighted to go well in the 3m feature chase (2.50).
The Dan Skelton trained gelding has some very useful form to his name over hurdles last season, landing a class 2 contest at Aintree off a mark of 129 before running an absolute blinder to finish third of 13 to the classy Saphir Du Rheu in the valuable Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton off 135.
Like Minded was put up to 137 for that run, but is able to race in this off a lower chase mark of 127.
That gives the 11-year-old big claims from a handicapping perspective, and prior to disappointing last time out when pulled-up on bottomless ground the son of Kafy Tara had posted three really solid efforts to finish in the frame over the larger obstacles.
The less testing going today may well enable Like Minded to bounce back, and another plus is that his handler does well with his runners at the venue.
Skelton has a strike rate of just over 23.5% at the track in the last 12 months (four wins and three placed from 17 runners), and in a wide open contest everything points to a big run from Like Minded.
In the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (2.50), Iron Butterfly is a fascinating contender now refitted with the hood and partnered by jockey Paul Molony.
The James Eustace trained mare was last successful under Molony at Doncaster back in December 2013 where she won going away by 1 1/4 lengths from Queen Spud off a mark of 106.
The six-year-old backed that up with a solid third of 10 to Polly Peachum at Warwick off 112 next time up, and the winner is a very useful sort who is now rated 155.
That is strong form in the context of this contest and makes Iron Butterfly’s current mark of 110 look exploitable.
Although Iron Butterfly was not at her best last time out, the daughter of Shirocco had previously shaped as if coming to hand when third at Fakenham and the reapplication of the hood this afternoon looks significant.
It has been absent in Iron Butterfly’s three runs this season, but was sported when she was last successful.
The booking of Molony is also a big positive, as he has ridden her just once in five starts since their success together at Doncaster and now gets the leg up for the first time this season.
1.45: Sebastian Beach
2.15: Iron Butterfly (NB)
2.50: Like Minded (NAP)
3.50: Until Winning
4.20: One For The Guv’nr