Bet of the Day: Mister Universum can win Warwick handicap hurdle again

Published on: May 22, 2019
Author: Jamie Clark
Bet of the Day for 22/05/19 is Mister Universum to win at Warwick for brothers Dan and Harry Skelton

Midlands trainer Dan Skelton continues to be among the winners and one of five he saddles at Warwick on Wednesday is Mister Universum in the feature class 2 handicap hurdle over 2m (15:55).

This seven-year-old Cape Cross gelding is lurking on a dangerously low mark, so now rated 3lb below what he landed this race off last year makes plenty of appeal from a handicapping perspective to resume winning ways.

Mister Universum tracked the leaders 12 months ago and was ridden to lead after the penultimate flight by regular jockey Harry Skelton, then only needed driving out to score by 2 1/2 lengths from Mystic Sky.

He meets the runner-up off level weights now, taking Maxime Tissier’s 5lb claim into account, and that apart gets weight all-round from the rest of the field.

The second, third and sixth horse home Nietzsche, who was beaten just five lengths, all came out later in the season and won – with the latter scooping the valuable Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham’s November Meeting.

Ran well off higher rating

The assessor put Mister Universum up 5lb to a mark of 130 for his course and distance success, but he was far from disgraced off that revised rating when an 8 1/2 lengths fifth in a Listed contest at Market Rasen.

He has since placed when dropped back down in class and second to Innocent Touch at Stratford off 130, and later filling the same spot behind Chieftain’s Choice at Doncaster off 126.

As Mister Universum looks sure to come on a bundle for his return to action after a break when a 12-length sixth to Fiesole at Plumpton last month, the 9/2 about him winning this again with Bethard looks well worth a wager.

With handler Dan Skelton on a 30 per cent strike rate with his runners in the last 14 days at the time of writing and this being one of the yard’s local tracks, a bold bid looks assured.

Stable pilot Harry Skelton, meanwhile, has has four winners in his last 12 rides and is fully expected to add to that tally here at Warwick.

Taking all that into account, and the fact that Mister Universum is 4lb better off with Leapaway from Plumpton for being 2 3/4 lengths behind that re-opposing rival, he has plenty going for him.

Bet of the Day: 9/2 with Bethard, Mister Universum to win the 2m handicap hurdle at Warwick (15:55).