Victoria Cup (Heritage Handicap)
Can a race be more open? Probably not! 27 starters, plenty of horses in with a chance here but that often can lead to some huge prices and big value. While I do really like the favourite Zarwaan, I believe there is better value to find in this field. He’s a 12/1 chance and that in itself would look huge on any other day, but not today.
Cutting down the field to a handful of interesting runners, I got stuck with two exciting individuals that seem to be a bit overlooked here, though. Both have been progressive handicappers last season, and both confirmed that they have come well over the winter on their respective seasonal reappearance already.
Outback Traveller @ 18/1 SJ – 5pts Win: Trained by Jeremy Noseda, this colt smashed a fair field in a class 3 Handicap over course and distance on his final start in 2014. He looked like a ready-made pattern performer that day.
On his return last month at Kempton he was only beaten by the narrowest of margins while giving a good deal of weight away to the eventual winner. One would assume he’ll be a bit sharper today. It’s a big mark to defy, but he looks one able to be a big runner with conditions very much in favour.
Baraweez @ 18/1 SJ – 5pts Win: Massively progressive last season, the highlight was clearly when he landed a big Premier Handicap over 7f on Irish Champions Weekend. He was a good deal beaten on his seasonal reappearance in the Lincoln over 1m, but has had some excuses.
I believe he hit the front too soon when the pace collapsed in front of him and he had only one chance to try and go on. He travelled strongly up to that point. He’ll be sharper today, 7f looks perfect and he has his preferred quick ground. He may have still more to offer off a mark of 100.