Past Winners » Ranch Hand


You can understand why Rainbow Dreamer is favourite for the Marathon.  He is a talented stayer, he is rated 110, he is the highest rated horse in the race, and he goes into it in good form, having made all to beat three decent rivals at Kempton last time.

However, he had the run of the race from the front that day, and he is not invincible.  He is six for 10 on all-weather, but he has never run at Lingfield.  I think that Ranch Hand should be closer to him in the betting than he is.

Andrew Balding’s horse is the second highest rated horse in the race, he only has 4lb to find with Rainbow Dreamer, and he is another who goes into the race in good form.  It was only a three-horse race that he won last time at Chelmsford, but he was challenged early in the home straight by Rock Eagle, and he kept on well.  He was always holding the runner-up, and he probably won with at least a little in hand.

That was Ranch Hand’s first run since he was well beaten in a hurdles race on heavy ground at Haydock in December, and it was his first run on the flat since he won the Listed Rose Bowl at Newmarket last September, beating the 108-rated Withhold and the 112-rated Mildenberger.  A reproduction of that run would take him close.

Rock Eagle is a danger again, but he is 3lb worse off with Ranch Hand on their Chelmsford running, when Ranch Hand beat him.  Ranch Hand is the bet.