In-form Andy Holding has three bets from this afternoon's racing action.
The form of the Casthouse Trophy over the C&D on January 1 looks the key to the outcome of this similar contest and MUHTARAM (best price 11/2)
rates the value pick in his bid to have another shot at Stormadal. On that occasion, the Shamardal gelding was gunned down by his old rival in the closing stages, but being as he chased a very strong pace and challenged in the hottest part of it rounding the home bend, it came as little surprise to see Musabah Al Muhairi’s inmate faint as the line honed into view. Prior to that decent effort, he’d been competing against the likes of recent dirt giants One Man Band and Le Bernadin, so he should find this sort of company – like he did the last day – much more to his liking.
Muhtaram - 1pt e/w @ 6.5Lost -2pts
SAN QUENTIN (best price 11/4)
has proved in the past that once he gets on a roll he can be relied upon to hold his form pretty well in this sort of grade and given that he was quite impressive last time out at Kempton, the quick turnaround under a penalty will hopefully reap the rewards. The performance of Dean Ivory’s charge was enhanced further by his finishing time of 36.5 for the last three furlongs - one of the best come-home recordings on the seven-race card, and a repeat of that turn of foot against this similar opposition is likely to make him very hard to beat.
San Quentin - 1pt @ 11/4Won 2.75pts
STEAL THE SCENE (best price 9/2)
has run to a fair standard on his two previous visits to this track and following a deserved victory at Kempton last time out, Richard Hannon’s charge looks set to finally get off the mark at the Essex venue. Although that win at the Sunbury venue 45 days ago was achieved over 7f, the son of Lord Shanakil had posted a decent time when third behind Dukes Meadow over the C&D previously, and from a good platform in stall three, the improving four-year-old is fancied to make the frame at the very least.
Steal The Scene - 1pt e/w @ 9/2Lost -2pts