Andy bids to get the new week off to a winning start with four bets this afternoon.
GULLY’S EDGE (best price 9-2) did really well over hurdles last season, but he’s always been a chasing in the making and he can begin his new discipline in the best possible fashion. After getting beat as a short-priced favourite on hurdling debut at Catterick, Malcolm Jefferson’s inmate made no mistake when he was given a more severe test of stamina on his next outing at Hexham and he rounded the campaign off by seeing off several well-regarded types in a competitive and strongly-run affair at Ayr. Built to jump fences, today’s stiff track is the perfect starting point for the son of Kayf Tara and even though he will probably be plying his trade over further as the season progresses, he has enough qualities to make his presence felt.
AJMAN PRINCE (best price 5-1) could have done with a better draw, but he has enough qualities to overcome such an impost at a track where he’s really come to life of late. Showing promise over inadequate trips on his first outings on the newly-laid surface, Alistair Whillans’ charge has improved significantly since being stepped up in trip and given the way he scored here last time out, there looks to be more to come. Although the son of Manduro won by two-and-a-half lengths, he might have doubled that winning margin had he got a clearer run inside the final two furlongs (jockey had to pull him back after going for an ambitious run up the far rail), and as the speed figure and final closing sectionals were very commendable for a race of that nature, he’s worth keeping on side for now until the handicapper finally nails him.
THE UNIT (best price 7-4) has always been held in some regard at home and although he’s not quite hit the heights that many were expecting up to now, he has time on his side to repay those who keep the faith. His best performance in three starts over hurdles last season came when he chased home the useful Chic Theatre in a decent little novices’ event at Doncaster and if he could just give himself a chance by learning to settle better, he should be capable of winning races off his current mark of 120.
Although TABLE MANNERS (NAP) (best price 4-1) was a hard-to-find 25-1 poke here the other night, there didn’t appear too much of a fluke about the performance and she can prove that theory to be the case in her follow up bid three days on. Dropping back down significantly in trip, the Dutch Art filly was always travelling best and once given the office inside the final two furlongs, she pulled nicely clear of her field to win with plenty to spare. Nicely drawn in the middle of the bunch and seemingly up against a similar standard of opponents, Wilf Storey’s inmate has enough natural pace to cope with a furlong less to cover.