Tip of the day: Play a blinder

Ian Ogg heads to Towcester where he hopes that a hurdling debutant can fulfil the promise of his racecourse bow.

Alan King, trainer of Thomas Shelby

Thomas Shelby, 2.10 Towcester

Apparently Peaky Blinders was an excellent drama but I never did get around to watching it otherwise I would have known that Thomas Shelby is one of the central characters.

Hopefully, the horse of the same name will have a similarly effective cutting edge to his game and the same appetite for a fight as he makes his debut over hurdles at Towcester rather than take up his engagement at Newbury tomorrow.

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A certain amount has to be taken on trust with the son of Witness Box given this is not only his hurdling debut but also his seasonal reappearance and his first start since disappointing in a Kempton bumper, when quite well supported, at a time when his yard was struggling for winners.

However, he had caught the eye in no uncertain terms on his racecourse debut over the same course and distance when fifth behind stablemate Sir Antony Browne who went on to finish a close third in a valuable Newbury bumper.

The form is solid without being spectacular (incidentally, the fourth – Peppay Le Pugh – has his first run for David Dennis in the 12.45 at Taunton having been part of the Potensis Bloodstock dispersal) but certainly reads well enough in the context of this afternoon's contest.

Trainer Alan King's horses are ticking along with the stable sending out an easy winner at Hereford yesterday and today's race appears to be a reasonable starting point for Thomas Shelby to prove that he can build on that initial promise. He's a top price of 6/1 and a general 11/2 and those seem fair odds to pay the money and find out.

Sky Bet are offering EXTRA VALUE to followers of the Sporting Life Tip Of The Day with guaranteed prices at 1000 every morning.

What does this mean? From 1000 (BST) on the morning of publication, Sky Bet will be industry-best price on all selections in the Tip Of The Day column for ONE HOUR until 1100 (BST). In the event of non-runners having had a material effect on the market since publication, Sky Bet will guarantee to offer the top-price in the market place.

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