4.00 Beverley

Following horses over a cliff that are constantly unlucky is a strategy not worth recommending, but in the case of FINAL (NAP) (best price 9-4), Mark Johnston’s charge simply has to be given the benefit of the doubt on the evidence of his recent exploits. Since breaking his duck at the second time of asking on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last February, the son of Arabian Gleam has cut a figure of total frustration, and those exasperations have been polarised by his last two performances. His unwillingness to engage his mind in the early stages proved his undoing at Thirsk two starts back when he was a fast-finishing fourth behind Get Knotted, and the same fate awaited him over today’s track on his most recent outing as he once again got going far too late to have any meaningful impact on the result. That said, he was taken down a blind alley in the latter stages by Joe Fanning just as he was building up a head of steam, so in the case for the defence, there’s a fair argument to suggest he was a shade unfortunate. The one thing that can be said for sure in summarising his chance this afternoon is that he looks for all the world to be crying out for a step up in trip and providing he can keep tabs with the front-running Mysterial in the early part of the race, hopefully that untapped stamina can kick in when in matters in the closing stages.

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Final - 2pts @ 9/4Won 4.5pts

7.20 Ballinrobe

Joseph O’Brien is quickly making a name for himself as a fully-fledged trainer and his good run looks set to continue in the shape of MOTHERLAND (best price 13-8) in what appears to be a very winnable maiden. The son of Galileo made a promising start to his career when sixth a decent maiden at the Curragh, but it was his latest performance which really points towards his potentially as a useful staying type. Keeping on strongly in the closing stages, the three-year-old chestnut managed to get within three lengths of the very useful Munaashid in a smart maiden for the track standards, and with the time of the race also suggesting it was a fair performance, it would come as something of a surprise if he wasn’t good enough to get the better of his main two markets rivals who haven’t set the world alight so far to date.
Motherland - 2pts @ 13/8Won 3.25pts

8.45 Leicester

NINEPOINTSIXTHREE (best price 8-1) went on the naughty step after his antics at Aintree the other night (refused to face the starter) and as a result, connections have resorted to switching his attentions back to the Flat in a bid to get his mind right. In a rich vein of form last year, John O’Shea’s inmate had rather lost his way until a series of fine efforts over hurdles lately appeared to have rekindled his enthusiasm for the game, so it was totally against his character to refuse to have part of the action at the Liverpool track last time. Clearly, there has to be an element of risk attached to backing a horse who didn’t want to play ball on his latest start, but given that he’s one of the few in the line-up that has proven stamina under tonight’s testing conditions, a chance is worth taking at the price that he’s not in a dummy-spitting mood for the second time in succession.
Ninepointsixthree - 0.5pts e/w @ 8/1Lost -1pts

8.55 Ballinrobe

In what looks more like a National Hunt flat race, PETUNA (best price 13-2) is fancied to put her useful bumper form to good use and reward solid each-way support. Off the mark at the second time of asking over hurdles at Punchestown last time out, the Aussies Rules mare had previously exhibited a fair amount of talent in some useful bumpers against her own sex and with all her best form coming on a decent surface, tonight’s ground should be ideal for this game and likable mare.
Petuna - 1pt e/w @ 13/2Won 7.8pts