Andy Holding has some strong fancies on a bumper Saturday of racing action.
MITCHUM SWAGGER (best price 13/2)
improved at a rapid rate of knots throughout last season and he looks just the type to continue his progression into his second season. David Lanigan’s charge began life by winning a 7f maiden at Newbury and he went on to prove that there was no fluke about that 25/1 success by bolting up in a Haydock handicap off an opening mark of 87. Raised a further 6lb, he was all the rage to follow up back at the same track and even though he failed to justify strong market support, he was unfortunate to bump into the very useful Express Himself on a going day. Pitched into listed company on his final start last season, he justified the rise in class by finishing a creditable second to Big Baz in a driving finish and even though today’s assignment would register as his toughest one so far to date, it would come as no surprise if he were equal to the task.
MITCHUM SWAGGER - 0.5pt e/w @ 13/2Lost -1pt
It goes without saying, this jumps season has been a stellar one for Colin Tizzard and it would be fitting if he were to round off the campaign in the best possible fashion by taking the last big race of the season with THEATRE GUIDE (best price 18/1)
. Having already captured a big pot at Kempton in February, the son of King’s Theatre was expected to go well in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival but unfortunately the nine-year-old fell when going well at the first going down the back straight. Hopefully that fall won’t affect his confidence as other than that slight blot on his copybook, he’s run to a very high standard all year. His runner-up slot in the Hennessy is arguably one of the best pieces of form on show out of the 20-strong field and even though he’s racing off a career-high mark of 150, he has run plenty of solid races off ratings close to that perch in the past.
THEATRE GUIDE - 0.5pt e/w @ 18/1Lost -1pt
WOWCHA (best price 9/4)
impressed with the way she got the job done on her seasonal return at Pontefract and she doesn’t look on too bad a mark for her handicap debut based on that performance. Taking up the running rounding the home turn at the Yorkshire venue, John Quinn’s charge quickly assumed command, and only having to be pushed out hands and heels she ran out a comfortable winner of a decent maiden. Analysing the nuts and bolts of the race, the time figure she posted suggests she’s done really well to given a mark of just 75 and with the potential of more to come now racing over further, the daughter of Zoffany is fancied to provide her in-form stable with another winner.
WOWCHA - 1pt @ 9/4Lost -1pt
BURANO (NAP) (best price 7/2)
ran a race full of promise on his first start for new connections over today’s C&D and even though he’s been hiked up in the ratings off the back of that effort, David O’Meara’s inmate is expected to be competitive in this similar handicap. Held up from his wide draw, the son of Dalakhani made decent headway to race prominent approaching the three furlong pole and although he momentarily looked the winner inside the distance, he couldn’t quite get by the strong-finishing More Mischief on the run to the line. The time figure and subsequent form of the race, however, suggests he ran to a very high standard following his four-month break and as he’s likely to come on significantly for the run and be better suited by a more favourable surface, the seven-year-old makes plenty of appeal from a yard just beginning to find their feet.
BURANO - 1pt e/w @ 7/2Lost -2pt
It’s probably fair to say, Harry Cobden didn’t give ALCALA (best price 12/1)
the most efficient of rides at Ayr last weekend and even though this contest looks like an afterthought given his trainer’s eagerness to throw as many darts at the board on the last day of the jumps season, Paul Nicholls’ charge is still worthy of respect. Last week’s debacle aside, the son of Turgeon had run an absolute screamer in the EBF Final over today’s C&D and with the form of that heat working out incredibly well subsequently, a repeat of that effort is likely to ensure the six-year-old grey is more than just a dangerous floater.
ALCALA - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Non Runner
EXPRESO BRASILEIRO (best price 11/2)
was a progressive type last season and based on the evidence of his first run of this campaign, he has every chance of climbing further up the ladder. Racing over a trip short of his best in a hot 6f handicap at the Curragh, Willie McCreery's inmate kept on well in the latter stages to be a never-nearer third behind impressive winner Mr Right and with the time figure of the race the fastest furlong-per-furlong recording on the seven-race card, the form looks solid. Indeed, the likes of Master Speaker, Deeds Not Words and Bluesbreaker have all gone on to advertise the race from the Co Kildare venue subsequently and now returning to a distance more in-keeping with his overall profile, the son of Lope De Vega can be expected to put up a bold show.
EXPRESO BRASILEIRO - 1pt e/w @ 11/2Placed 0.38pt