Our racing expert has FIVE selections this afternoon, plus an ante-post bet on the Cambridgeshire.
MUTHMIRA (NAP) (best price 4-5) was very much expected at Chelmsford first time out based on the evidence of the market and although she failed to land the punt, Simon Crisford’s charge did more than enough to suggest the money in her direction was not misplaced. Immediately behind the eight-ball after a tardy start at the Essex venue, the daughter of Arcano found herself in last place as the field swung into the home straight but finishing off her race really strongly inside the last two furlongs, she showed that the ability is most definitely there if channelled in the right direction. Hopefully she will have learnt enough from that initial outing to be more competitive this time around and providing stall one doesn’t prove to be too much of an inconvenience, she clearly has the qualities to take a race of this nature.
APRICOT SKY (best price 6-1), who took this corresponding race last year, has to be worth more than a second look in his bid to repeat the dose given his current form. Runner-up in his last two starts, his latest outing at Ripon when just outrun by course specialist Pipers Note three days ago ensures he should arrive her in prime condition and with Ana Hesketh back on board – who has decent strike-rate on the son of Pastoral Pursuits – the six-year-old has fine chance of keeping his 100% C&D record intact.
SPARK PLUG (best price 6-1) was desperately unlucky on his last visit to today’s track when getting no run whatsoever in the Royal Hunt Cup and he looks to have bright prospects of going some way to putting matters right on his return to the Berkshire venue. The way he finished off his race once out in the clear back in June suggested Brian Meehan’s charge was one to keep on side throughout the remainder of the season and although he’s yet to justify that notion in three subsequent outings, each performance hasn’t been without promise.
The son of Dylan Thomas ran a good deal better than the bare figures suggest on his next two starts, but his failure to see out the 1m 2f trip was ultimately his undoing and last time out at York he was noted doing some good late work in the big mile handicap won by Firmament. Hailing from a stable who has yielded five winners from their last six runners, hopefully the six-year-old will get a reasonably run race in order for his qualities to come to the fore and he could well be worth a small tilt in the ante-post markets for the Cambridgeshire in anticipation of a decent show this afternoon.
Although he threatened fleetingly at Sandown last time out, GEORGE WILLIAM (best price 8-1) once again came up short when tried over a mile and he’s bettered judged on some of his previous performances over today’s trip. His C&D win back in June, for instance, is a perfectly solid piece of three-year-old handicap form and that backed up his previous effort when third in a similar heat behind Out And About. Although he could only finish eighth of the 14-strong field the last time he raced over 7f at Goodwood two starts ago, he got a terrible trip from a wide post, and now returning to the scene of those previous decent results should ensure Richard Hannon’s charge outruns his double-figure quotes.
WILLIAM DU BERLAIS (best price 15-8) has clearly taken a liking to tonight’s course based on his three previous visits to the Westmeath track and he looks booked to go well again with conditions to suit. A promising third first time out, Enda Bolger’s charge looked all over the winner next time out until Lady Of Portlairge picked his pocket late on and it was nice to see him gain his just rewards last time out when he ran out a comfortable winner of a maiden hurdle in the style of a progressive sort. Although up in trip tonight, the Trempilino gelding shapes as though the extra yardage will suit and this strong-travelling type doesn’t appear too badly treated off 109 for his first outing in handicap company.