The promising Mint Condition has shown enough to suggest he’s worth a wager to open his account at 11/8 with William Hill in the 2m 1f novices’ hurdle at Carlisle on Thursday (16:35).
After finishing fourth to the now 130-rated Keep Wondering in his sole start in an Irish point, this six-year-old joined trainer Jennie Candlish and ran really well when a 6 1/4 lengths third of 10 to Soaring Glory in a bumper at Warwick.
The winner is a highly-regarded sort who has since finished runner-up to Israel Champ, a leading fancy for next week’s Grade 1 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, in a Listed contest at Ascot.
That gives the form a solid look. There was also lots to like about Mint Condition’s debut over the obstacles when fourth of 14 to Shishkin in a novice hurdle at Newbury.
After racing in mid-division, the son of Black Sam Bellamy made good headway on the inside after the fifth and went third on the long run between the last two flights before fading late on to be beaten 23 lengths.
Mint Condition was not knocked about and Shishkin is a highly-regarded Nicky Henderson inmate who has since gone on to land a Listed contest at Huntington in facile fashion.
He also heads the betting for the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Booking of Hughes a plus for Mint Condition
The runner-up Shakem Up Harry also brought some smart form into the race, so Mint Condition ran very well in what was a warm class 4 contest for the grade.
He has had just one run since and again shaped with plenty of promise when losing third close home to finish a 12 1/2 lengths fourth of seven to Lieutenant Colonel in another class 4 novice contest at Warwick.
The winner is an exciting prospect who is unbeaten in two starts under Rules and now rated 139, whilst the runner-up Stick With Bill went into the race having won two of his three previous outings.
That again gives the form a solid look in relation to this class 4. Mint Condition is clearly going the right way and improving with each outing.
This looks far less taxing than both the aforementioned races and the booking of Brian Hughes to do the steering suggests connections mean business.
So, taking everything into account, this looks like a glorious opening for Mint Condition to get off the mark and he is strongly fancied to do just that.
Bet of the Day: 11/8 with William Hill, Mint Condition in the 2m 1f novices’ hurdle at Carlisle.