16:30 (Ffos Las) Merry Dreamer
Ben Clarke is a relatively new trainer under rules, and he has quickly established himself as an astute outfit, winning 18 races from 113 starts over the past five years, with most of those coming in the last couple of seasons.
For this three-mile handicap hurdle, he has entered Merry Dreamer, who has not been under Clarke's care very long. He previously raced six times in Ireland and showed ability to postmark a high of 99 on heavy ground over two and a half miles (equivalent to 107 in the UK).
It appears that he must have suffered some sort of injury as he only raced once in 520 days before being sold on, so it was no surprise that in two starts for Ben Clarke, he has very much needed each run.
Firstly, he was leading for a while before weakening on his seasonal debut at Exeter, before failing to complete the course last time out at Lingfield just before Christmas, when his female apprentice jockey pulled him shortly after they made a jumping error.
With those two runs helping to bring on his fitness, Merry Dreamer should now be in better shape to run a full race, and the fact that the stable's most successful jockey, Ben Jones, is on board seems significant, especially as this coincides with first-time cheekpieces.
Merry Dreamer should relish the soft/heavy going he will find at Ffos las on Monday, and running off a mark of 97 should him every chance of being in contention, if he can get all the way round.
The tasty 50/1 price with BOG that was on offer was irresistible in this 15-runner handicap and even though those odds have dropped a little, 40/1 is still well worth a point each way, and that value still remains as low as 20/1