Today’s big race at Wincanton in the Somerset National Handicap Chase (RacingTV, 14:25 GMT) over an extended 3m 2f, and lightly-raced 10-year-old Perform makes plenty of each-way appeal in an open renewal.
Trained by Philip Hobbs, he has a stamina laden pedigree as he’s by King’s Theatre and a Presenting mare. That stands Perform in good stead at this stayers’ trip and, although he’s still a maiden over fences, he has shaped as though coming to the boil this season.
His progressive form under 7lb claimer Ben Jones, who is on a 25 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight, suggests he could go close in this off a mark of 126. Perform is a hurdles winner who has had just nine career starts under rules.
Creditable efforts when fifth behind Doctor Phoenix on debut at Uttoxeter and fourth to Rocky’s Treasure at Ffos Las in a handicap hurdle off 134 represents decent back form. Given that latter horse has gone on to Grade 2 success as a novice chaser, Perform is potentially well-treated for his 16-length defeat in April 2017 in this lower class 3 contest.
Better performances from Perform this season
Although not right when falling on his own chase bow at Aintree last season and then tailed off at Exeter on his only other start in that campaign, he has improved for each outing this term. While Perform does have plenty to find with top weight Gunfleet – a 9/2 chance with BetVictor here – off 1lb worse terms from his reappearance run when seventh at Exeter, he has gone much closer on his last two starts.
He was then a 7 1/2 lengths fourth in an amateur riders’ handicap chase at Sandown off 124 and beaten just 2 3/4 lengths into third by the re-opposing Potters Corner (5/1 with Ladbrokes) at this venue over 3m 1f on Boxing Day. Perform got hampered on the bend after the 14th fence, but still made headway and just missed out on second by a short-head.
Granted better luck in-running, he now meets the winner 2lb better off at the weights with just 1lb between them on official figures off a revised 126 rating. If continuing the progress he has demonstrated throughout the campaign, then Perform has solid claims of making the frame at 8/1 with William Hill.
With Hobbs’ yard operating at a 21 per cent win rate in the last fortnight, everything looks in place for a big run. That makes Perform well worth a wager in the Somerset National.
Bet of the day: Perform in the Somerset National at 8/1 each-way (1pt) with William Hill.