Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway is back with his two best bets for the second day of 2024.
The 2m71/2f handicap hurdle (3.30) is the final race on the card at Fakenham and it provides a good opportunity for the course lover, FOR GINA, to improve her good record at the track.
For Gina is unlucky not to be unbeaten at the course as her first run at Fakenham last June was a superb effort. She went to the front and touched 1.35 in running when clear on the run to the last but a mistake at the final flight proved costly and she was outstayed near the finish.
She might have won that day but for that error at a costly time in the race, but made no mistake when returning here last month, running away with a handicap hurdle over course and distance by 11 lengths under Bryony Frost, who is back on again for this follow-up bid.
There were 35 lengths back to the third that day, so For Gina had them well strung out behind her, and a 5lb rise in the weights doesn't look that harsh considering her dominance last time.
For Gina now has form figures reading 121 since fitted with cheekpieces, so the headgear has evidently had a positive effect, and she is still relatively unexposed in the sheepskin. Any further improvement will make her difficult to beat back around her favourite sharp course.
The 5f handicap (8.00) will be fast-and-furious around the tight turns at Wolverhampton and it's worth giving NOT TOO REAL BAD another chance on her second outing for Mick Appleby.
She won twice when trained in Ireland by Tom Mullins and Appleby has shown on plenty of occasions that he is capable of improving horses coming out of other stables. There is every chance he can work his magic with Not Too Real Bad now she has a run in Britain behind her.
The four-year-old went off a well-backed 7/4 favourite for her debut for this stable over course and distance two weeks ago and is surely better than the form of her sixth of eight.
She got taken off her feet from a wide draw that day and could stay on at only once pace, but she should be sharper for the run - her first since September - and the tonguestrap that she wore for both her wins in Ireland was left off there. Appleby applies that aid for this outing.
Not Too Real Bad was rated a peak 78 in Ireland, but is able to race off just 62 here and is evidently well handicapped if she can return to form. Maybe she will, back in a tonguestrap.