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Thursday racing tips: Bensini ready for a breakthrough

19 Oct | BY Nick Pulford | MIN READ TIME |
Thursday racing tips: Bensini ready for a breakthrough

Nick Pulford's tips for Thursday include selections from Carlisle, Chelmsford and Wincanton.

Five more meetings across Britain and Ireland on Thursday with Carlisle, Wincanton and Thurles all starting out for their new jumps seasons, while Flat racing is from Brighton and Chelmsford. 

We have three Thursday fancies, including one for the bang-in-form Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell at Carlisle. 


Snake Roll (Carlisle 13:50) @ 11/8 

Bensini (Wincanton 16:52) @ 11/4

Riot (Chelmsford 18:00) @ 2/1

Russell team on a Roll 

Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell is enjoying a really prolific spell, with seven winners from 30 runners in the last fortnight at a 23 per cent strike-rate.

There could be more of that winning feeling at Carlisle’s opening jumps meeting, where last season’s impressive novice hurdler SNAKE ROLL bids to make a winning transition to fences in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase over 2m at 13:50.

After a winning start to his hurdles career at Kelso (2m, good to soft) last season, he had decent form behind subsequent Grade 1 Tolworth winner Tahmuras at Haydock and then won nicely at Newcastle on Boxing Day. 

He flopped on very testing ground at Warwick in January but was third in a Grade 2 back at Kelso in March and signed off the season with a slender defeat over 2m4f at Perth in April.

Given he has experience in point-to-points on his CV and the yard is in such fine fettle, Derek Fox’s partner is put forward for a winning start over fences.

Bensini ready for a breakthrough

A new season of National Hunt racing at Wincanton begins on Thursday and champion trainer Paul Nicholls will fancy getting on the scoresheet at his local track. 

He has some good chances but the finale on the card is the Somerset Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase over 3m1f and it’s a race in which BENSINI can break his duck over fences for the in-form Robbie Llewellyn team.

He left Fergal O’Brien after one bumper start and didn’t achieve a lot last season over hurdles. He returned at Worcester (2m4f, good) in July to open his account in a conditionals’ contest and has held his form since in four starts, including two over fences.

He was runner-up behind Toad Of Toad Hall at Fontwell (2m5½f, good) in September and then went within a neck of a win at Southwell this month over a furlong shorter.

That race ended with the front three separated by less than a length. Having lost some ground jumping the last, Bensini rallied strongly on the run to the line, suggesting this longer trip is going to favour him. He’s off the same mark now and can break his duck.

Riot still a good option

Though he perhaps never quite built on the promise of finishing third in a Royal Ascot handicap over 7f for John and Thady Gosden in 2021 – going 0-8 afterwards for Johnny Murtagh – RIOT has got back on track this year for David O’Meara and can strike again in the 7f handicap at Chelmsford.

He got his head in front over C&D in May and again at Doncaster in July. He has been consistent in six runs since that Town Moor win and was beaten just a length over track and trip here five days ago, doing best of those who were held up. 

He’s off the same mark of 79 now and this race looks weaker on paper. He has exploited this mark at Chelmsford once already and is yet to run a bad race in four starts at the Essex circuit.