LIGHTLY SQUEEZE 11/2 generally – 1 POINT E/W (4 places William Hill, Betway and Betfair)
My NAP of the day last Saturday was Imperial Alcazar in a big handicap and this weeks handicap NAP is LIGHTLY SQUEEZE. He just ticks every box and at worst surely he finishes in the first 4 but I am confident of the win.
This is a horse who was a 14 length winner at Plumpton last January and was sent to the betfair Hurdle in the February, rated 137. He was running a cracker in the Betfair Hurdle and even jumped the last in the lead but unfortunately fell. Obviously we don’t know if he would have or placed but we do know he was well in contention when falling, in a race which is as competitive as they come. That was the last time we saw him over hurdles last season.
This season started at Ffos Las over hurdles for the Welsh Champion Hurdle, a race which was won by Sceau Royal with Ballyandy back in 2nd and Buzz and Milkwood 3rd and 4th. LIGHTLY SQUEEZE came home 7th of 12. He ran a good race for a long way but blew up coming to the last hurdle, obviously needing to blow away the cobwebs. He was actually sent for a wind operation just 4 days after the Welsh Champion Hurdle so that could explain why he emptied quickly.
His last start following the wind operation was at this course a month ago, in the Grade 3 Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle. He came home 3rd of 17 to Not So Sleepy and Buzz, pulling well clear of the 4th and 5th. It was an excellent run in a race I think was better than todays. In fact he had two of today’s runners in Botox Has and Arrivederci easily beaten that day and I can’t see how they turn the form around. He is up in trip but I think that is a good thing and will help him travel into the race, rather than be flat out. We have Sean Bowen in the saddle who is a jockey I have a lot of time for, especially in a driving finish as he is really strong.
All in all I haven’t got a negative thing to say about LIGHTLY SQUEEZE, the ground is perfect, the trip will improve him, the track suits and the handicap is pretty tight with not much splitting the field, other than bottom weight. E/W.