Andy has a FOUR-POINT nap at Nottingham this evening.
WILLYTHECONQUEROR (best price 14-1) was no match in the end for the improving filly Easton Angel over today’s C&D last time out, but he certainly did more than enough to suggest he doesn’t look out of place in pattern company and with conditions to suit, he rates a decent each-way bet at the early prices. Indeed, William Muir’s charge may have finished a little closer to the eventual winner had his run not been slightly impeded approaching the final furlong and whichever way you strip it down, that represents solid sprinting form. Having already proven he relishes a stiff uphill finish with a smooth victory over the same C&D earlier in the campaign, the son of Kodiac clearly has a liking for the slopes of the Esher venue and with the ground likely to remain on the slow side, he has more in his favour than his 14-1 quotes suggest.
Luca Cumani has had a fairly quiet start to the campaign but there are signs that the fortunes of the Newmarket handler are beginning to improve and one of his winners of late, LOVING THINGS (best price 8-1), is fancied to take another step up the ladder following an impressive victory at Pontefract last time out. Having her first start of the season and only her second in listed company, the daughter of Pivotal proven equal to the task, quickening smartly in the closing stages to pull readily clear of a useful field which contained the strongly-fancied and previous three-time winner, Barsanti. Not only was the overall time she posted very smart, her final two furlong splits were also the best on the seven-race card and with those findings telling us she has both stamina and a nice turn of foot in equal measures, the improving four-year-old rates a decent each-way proposition with ground in her favour.
GREEN LIGHT (best price 8-1) clearly comes with risks attached, but as he showed last time out at Epsom, he’s a fair horse on his day when his mind is on the job and conditions are in his favour. Held up in the early stages of that competitive and strongly-run handicap at the Surrey venue, Ralph Beckett’s charge readily picked up the field in the final two furlongs to score with more in hand than the official result suggests and with soft ground once again in the ascendency, there’s every reason to feel upbeat about his chance of cracking the code for the second time in succession.
SNOW MOON (best price 7-2) was far too keen in the early stages to do herself justice in a listed at Newbury last time out, but she still showed enough to suggest she might have what it takes for this grade. Once it became apparent that her winning chance was all but over at the Berkshire venue, Frankie Dettori was at pains not to give John Gosden’s charge too hard a race, so it was encouraging to say the least how well she finished off her race in the closing stages having expended so much early energy. Hopefully there should be more pace signed on this time around courtesy of Wilamina and Ejayteekay in the line-up and with that likely scenario a massive help towards the chances of her settling, the daughter of Oasis Dream should have much more left in the locker at the business on this occasion.
The referee should have stepped in to prevent further punishment such was the manner of INDIAN CHIEF’s (NAP) (best price 11/10) victory at Chepstow earlier in the week and providing he’s anywhere near the same sort of shape four days on, it would come as something of a shock if Rebecca Bastiman’s inmate didn’t win again. Previously unlucky when getting no run whatsoever in a decent little handicap at Ripon the time before, it came as no great surprise to see the son of Montjeu find his way into winner’s enclosure for the first time for current connections at the Welsh venue, but the way he went about securing that initial success was something to behold. Always cantering in the hands of Barry McHugh, the six-year-old still won by a long-looking six lengths despite being heavily eased close home, and with the winning time also suggesting it was a performance of some repute (best on card), everything seems set up perfectly again for another exciting display.