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Best Bets 27th Jan

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1:10 Wetherby – Piecederesistance

When he won his debut at Saint-Cloud in September 2020 it is fair to say that his powerful connections probably didn’t imagine that a career over hurdles was beckoning for PIECEDERESISTANCE. Although he didn’t finish outside of the first 3 in 4 starts on the Flat, Coolmore and Andre Fabre decided to geld him and then put him through the sales ring in October. He made his debut for Micky Hammond at Sedgefield in November, when he was extremely well backed only to disappoint, finishing 3rd beaten 16-lengths. Having led at a relatively sedate gallop, he was still in front when he made a bad mistake at the 6th and lost all his momentum. He kept on into 3rd in the closing stages and is probably worth forgiving that effort. The presence of Graystone in this field should guarantee him a decent pace to aim at, which would look to be the key to him, and he should make a much better fist of things on his 2nd start over hurdles.

2:45 Wetherby – Mr Whipped

He has come a long way since winning the Leamington Novices hurdle (G2) for Nicky Henderson in 2018, beating Paisley Park in the process. At that point in his career, MR WHIPPED looked like he would develop into a top-class horse, but injury and setbacks have played their part and have stopped him delivering fully on that early promise. As a 9-year-old, now in the care of Brian Ellison, he has very low mileage with just 10 career starts and to his credit, he has won 4 of those 10 races. He pulled up on his first start for the yard in April, but that was his first run for 2 years and can easily be forgiven. Another break followed but he put in a much better effort when 3rd here on Boxing Day, beaten just over 6 lengths by Schiehallion Munro. He hit the front after the 10th fence that day and was going well before understandably tiring in the closing stages, but there were a lot of positives to take from that performance. The handicapper has given him another 2lbs back and if he can build on that effort, he should go close from a mark of just 132.

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