Two all-weather bets this afternoon, plus a two-point nap from Wetherby.
As he proved last time out, KINGS HEART (best price 6-1) is a law into himself when it comes to breaking from the lids and while he’s hard to recommend with any degree of confidence knowing that your docket could go up in smoke after a few strides, he has enough ability to take a race of this nature with a clean start. A big eye-catcher at Newbury towards the backend of the turf season, Mark Usher’s inmate was nibbled at big prices for a competitive nursery here last time out, but unfortunately for his supporters, he completely fluffed his lines at the start. That said, he did remarkably well to finish within hailing distance of the main protagonists given how much ground he gave away, so let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself this time around.
KALANITI (NAP) (best price 6-4)clocked a decent speed figure when landing a maiden hurdle at Kelso on her seasonal return and she rates a fair bet to go in again with man-of-the-moment Brian Hughes once again in the plate. Thought good enough to run in a valuable and competitive listed mares’ bumper at Sandown last season, Chris Grant’s charge acquitted herself well enough without threatening the big guns at the Esher venue, but once out of those choppy waters, she found life much easier dealing with the kind of opposition you often find in ordinary maiden hurdles up the North. Despite running very green in the closing stages, the daughter of Kalanisi still had too many guns for several useful sorts and now sure to be much more in-tune with what’s required, she can take this before going on to better things.
NONIOS (best price 2-1) got a wretched passage through his latest race over today’s C&D so providing he doesn’t suffer a similar fate, David Simcock’s charge has every chance of going one place better. Finding himself towards the rear of the field through the early stages, his plight was compounded even further as he constantly got stopped in his run when trying to make headway rounding the home bend. Once out in the clear, the son of Oasis Dream flew home, but by that time, the winner, Drago, had already bounded over the horizon. Clearly, he’s a bit of a ‘seat of your pants’ customer, but there’s no denying the ability is there also, it’s just a simply case of hoping he gets the breaks at the right time on this occasion.