Andy Holding has been in brilliant form this week so can you afford to miss today's tips?
A late hood removal cost any chance WEEKEND OFFENDER (NAP) (best price 11-2) may have had of winning a competitive handicap at Haydock last time out, but compensation looks a distinct possibility for Kevin Ryan’s charge given how well he ran in the face of adversity that afternoon. Last turning into the home straight at the Lancashire venue, the son of Lope De Vega stayed eye-catchingly well from the back of the field to finish a never-nearer third at the line and having also run well from a bad draw the time before over today’s C&D, his prospects looks fairly cast-iron on his return visit to the Knavesmire.
Following two tales of woe on her first couple of starts, MUTHMIRA (best price 10-1) finally showed what she can do when things go her way at Yarmouth last time out and she doesn’t appear too badly treated off an opening handicap mark of 81 given her ability and overall potential. Out the stalls like a flash at the seaside venue, Simon Crisford’s charge seemed more at home with being ridden positively than her two previous hold-up rides, and if adopting similar tactics here this afternoon, she hopefully play a significant role rowing her own boat down the centre of the track.
Jump trainers held sway in this particular race over the past two decades and having won this race before both Tony Martin and Martin Pipe look to have fine chances of adding to their tally with GOLDEN SPEAR (best price 25-1) and ENNISTOWN (best price 25-1) respectively. The former arrives here in decent shape following a nice prep-run in a strongly run affair at Leopardstown last time out and having run well in many big-field handicaps in the past, this race looks tailor made for his run style. The latter clearly has benefitted from his new surroundings having scored at the first-time of asking for the Pipe team over hurdles at Cartmel last time out and the booking of Ryan Moore is an obvious positive for a horse that takes plenty of ‘knowing’.
The first-time blinkers clearly worked a treat with HIBOU (best price 9-2) at Redcar last time out and such was the manner of victory at the Yorkshire track, it makes logical sense to stay with the in-form three-year-old for the time being. Looking as though he’d just jumped into the race at the two-furlong pole, Ian Jardine’s charge came readily clear in the closing stages with the minimum of fuss and although this tougher assignment and extra rise in the ratings has to be of some concern, at the same time it’s almost impossible to gauge the level of his improvement with the headgear as a big motivating aid.
With recent winners such as LET’S TWIST (best price 6-1), Depth Charge and Red Paladin, Kristin Stubbs has done really well with her runners at tonight’s venue and in the shape of the former, the Norton handler has a fine chance of adding to her already impressive tally at the Gosforth Park venue. A creditable runner-up to the well-handicapped War Department on his second outing on the newly-laid surface, the son of Piccolo went on to record a deserved victory on his next start at Kempton. Although he failed in his bid to follow up at Chelmsford last time out, the in-form four-year-old ran another commendable race from the front and likely to adopt similar forceful tactics once again this evening, he has a decent chance of seeing it out from head of affairs.
TELL THE STARS (best price 9-1) has intimated on his last two starts that he’s capable of winning a race at tonight’s track and a repeat of either performance should ensure the son of Monsieur Bond is right in the thick of the action at the very least. Ollie Pears’ inmate ran well despite throwing his chance away by drifting over to the far side rail two starts ago and he followed that effort up with another praiseworthy display over what turned out to be an inadequate trip here 15 days ago. The way he finished of his race that evening suggested he’s worth noting when stepping back up to 6f and although his stall position in trap 12 isn’t ideal at first glance, being forceful to be dropped in from his wide draw might turn out to be a blessing in disguise given how most races often pan out at the Gosforth Park venue (hold-up runners seemed to have an advantage).