Taunton Preview: Casino has a Big chance
Big Casino has slipped to a career-low chase mark and can take advantage to land the 2m 3f handicap chase at Taunton today (3.00).
The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding was a fair hurdler who opened his account over the larger obstacles at the first time of asking when beating Timesawastin by 1 1/2 lengths in a beginners’ chase at Cartmel last May off an official rating of 124.
The nine-year-old was allotted an opening handicap mark of 129 on the back of that success and was far from disgraced off it when third to Doing Fine at Ffos Las on seasonal reappearance.
Big Casino then failed to trouble the judge in his next two starts before shaping as if coming back to his best last time out at Bangor when third of nine to the progressive Final Assault.
It was a decent contest for the grade , and Big Casino has since been dropped another 1lb to 119.
That is the lowest Big Casino has raced off since going chasing and makes the son of Court Cave look well-treated on the pick of his form.
In the extended 3m handicap hurdle that opens proceedings (1.30), Baroque Man is a fascinating contender on his first start for 789 days.
The Neil Mulholland trained gelding shaped nicely in three decent maiden hurdles back in 2011, including when fourth of 13 to Hadrian’s Approach at Ascot who is now rated 139 over hurdles and 152 over fences.
The race has also thrown up a whole host of winners, including the third home The Druids Nephew who finished eight lengths in front of Baroque Man and is now rated 141 over hurdles.
That is strong form and the selection was allotted an opening mark of 111 on the back of it.
The eight-year-old then failed to sparkle in his next three starts, and has subsequently been on the sidelines.
However it’s interesting that connections have perservered with Baroque Man and he is now able to race off a mark of just 97.
That makes the son of Revoque look thrown-in at the weights on his run behind Hadrian’s Approach if retaining anywhere near that level of ability, and this doesn’t look the strongest of class 5 contests.
1.30: Baroque Man (NB)
2.00: Kingfisher Creek
2.30: Lac Leman
3.00: Big Casino (NAP)
4.30: Spending Time