Hexham and Leicester tips: Just Georgie and Towering can rise to the occasion
David Metcalf | 7 December 2016
Coral horse racing experts give their Hexham and Leicester tips for December 7, featuring Just Georgie bets and Towering odds to score this Wednesday…
Just Georgie bets hot stuff at Hexham
Just Georgie can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to land the 2m 6f handicap chase on today’s card at Hexham (14:15).
The Sue Smith trained gelding posted some solid efforts over hurdles last season without getting his head in front, including when runner-up to the now 138-rated Barney Dwan at Sedgefield.
Just Georgie also ran well when a six-length second to the highly-regarded and 141-rated Born Survivor at Wetherby. He was far from disgraced on handicap debut on his final start of the campaign when fourth at Sedgfield off a rating of 115.
The six-year-old is now able to race off a 2lb lower mark of 113 and that makes him look potentially thrown-in at the weights on his hurdles’ form.
Just Georgie, who was a point winner in Ireland and given a very tender introduction over fences when last of four at Bangor, was also very well-backed last time out at Newcastle. He was brought down at the second and that suggests connections believe they have got a very well-handicapped horse on their hands.
The stable is also in good nick having banged in two winners and four placed horses from 11 runners this month, so everything looks in place for a huge run.
Smuggler’s Stash to bag the cash
Smuggler’s Stash shaped with promise when runner-up on debut over fences, so looks decent value to go one better and open his account under rules in the 3m handicap chase (13:15).
This gelding was a point winner in Ireland and posted his best effort for trainer Rose Dobbin at Ayr four starts back when a staying on 11 3/4 length third of 16 to W Six Times over 2m 4f off a mark of 100.
Smuggler’s Stash then disappointed in his next two starts when well-backed, sent off favourite in the last of those, before posting a much improved effort when having his attentions switched to chasing on return to action over course and distance last month.
The six-year-old raced a bit lazily at times, but stuck to the task well to finish a 10 length second to I Just Know who has since posted solid efforts to make the frame on two occasions off 10lb higher.
It gives the form a solid look in the context of this contest, and the assessor has been kind in quickly dropping Smuggler’s Stash 2lb to a mark of 95.
That makes the selection look potentially well-treated if taking another step forward, especially if the fitting of the blinkers for the first time has the desired effect.
Hexham tips for Wednesday, December 7
12.15: Great Tempo
12.45: Alizee De Janeiro
13.15: Smuggler’s Stash (NB)
13.45: Champagne To Go
14.15: Just Georgie (NAP)
14.45: Innis Shannon (E/W)
15.15: Miss Conway
Towering odds tick all the right boxes at Leicester
Towering has some solid form to his name and looks the answer to the 2m 4f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Leicester (13:25).
Trained by the in-form Nicky Henderson, the gelding is a three-time winner over the obstacles and showed a good attitude in the last of those to dig deep and beat Mile House by a neck in a competitive 16-runner contest at Cheltenham 14 months ago off a mark of 120.
Towering backed that up with a fine fifth of 23 to Unowhatimeanharry in a hot contest at the same venue, holding every chance at the last before weakening to be beaten nine lengths off a rating of 122.
The winner is a very useful sort who has won all five of his subsequent starts, including the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month to now be rated 165. Unowhatimeanharry is also considered a leading contender for the 2017 World Hurdle.
That is very strong form indeed in relation to this weak looking class 3 contest and Towering is able to race in it off the same mark.
It gives Towering major claims from a handicapping perspective and he comes into the race on the back of a promising third at Warwick which suggested his time was near.
All systems go for Desert Retreat
Trainer Philip Hobbs has his team in fine form and Desert Retreat can capitalise on what looks a good opening to provide him with another winner in the 2m 4f conditional jockeys’ novices’ hurdle (14:25).
The five-year-old finished runner-up three times in bumpers, including behind the now 135-rated Bun Doran at Chepstow and when beaten just 1 1/2 lengths behind the highly-regarded Elgin, who has since scored in terrific style on hurdling debut.
That represents strong form and, although Desert Retreat is yet to match it in three starts this season over the obstacles, it remains early days.
This is is a very weak class 4 contest lacking any real strength in depth, so connections could not have found an easier opening and Desert Retreat also receives a handy 7lb from the favourite Generous Helpings.
If recapturing anything like the form he showed in bumpers, this looks a lovely opportunity for the son of Sandmason to open his account.
Leicester tips for Wednesday, December 7
12.55: Foundation Man
13.25: Towering (NAP)
13.55: Diamond Life
14.25: Desert Retreat (NB)
15.25: Prince Khurram