Our in-form columnist struck with two winners yesterday and has some strong fancies again today.
BOGSSIPOP (best price 9-2) has yet to run a bad race so far this season and that consistent run looks set to continue on ground that should hold no fears. A winner first time off the shelf this campaign on heavy ground at Ripon, Tim Easterby’s charge has finished in the frame on all of his four starts subsequently and if wasn’t for a huge dollop of bad luck on at least two of those performances, he surely would have added to that solitary success. Indeed, one of those unfortunate runs came over today’s C&D when he got going too late to finish runner-up to Wayward Hoof back in May and even though regular pilot, Rachael Richardson, isn’t in the plate on this occasion, the son of Assertive should go well nevertheless.
MARCANO (best price 7-2) has an absolute nightmare when bidding to complete the hat trick at Newbury last time out and he’s taken to make amends in this less-competitive affair. Held up towards the back of the field at the Berkshire venue, Rod Millman’s charge was constantly denied a clear run from two when seemingly going best and with his rider having to sit and suffer, he was allowed to come home on the bridle not knowing he’d had a race. Prior to that unfortunate episode, the son of Arcano had scored back-to-back victories at Bath and hailing from a yard that continues to thrive during the summer months, the four-year-old can keep up the god work for the Devon handler.
WILLIAM DU BERLAIS (NAP) (best price 11-10) shaped with an immense amount of promise on his racecourse debut over tonight’s C&D last time and he rates a decent bet to build on that initial performance and go one place better. Nibbled at in the market to make a winning start to his career, Enda Bolger’s looked like pulling off the mini-gamble as he rounded the home turn with his sights firmly set on the front-running Long Journey Home. Unfortunately for his supporters, the winner just kept galloping and he eventually had to settle for second, but he did more than enough to suggest a small race would be a mere formality with that all-important experience tucked away under his belt.
The form of the maiden won by Wilamina over this course back in June couldn’t have worked out any better and the fourth horse home that day, CALVADOS SPIRIT (best price 9-1), looks set to give the race yet another boost. Although beaten nine lengths all told, the winner has gone on to run extremely well in a listed race at Sandown next time out (should have won) and with the second, third and fifth all going on to land maidens subsequently, Willie Muir’s charge clearly faced a very still task on the day. Prior to that sound effort, the son of Invincible Spirit had also figured prominently in another race working out well on the all-weather at Chelmsford and with the ground on the July course likely to be more beneficial to his chances that last time, a big run looks on the cards despite him being totally overlooked in the early betting.
SUPREME VINNIE (best price 5-1) clearly has a special affinity with tonight’s tight track and following two recent victories at the Co Westmeath venue, Denise O’Shea’s charge looks poised to post another big effort. An easy winner over 2m two starts ago, the son of Vinnie Row improved on that performance with a notable success in a hot handicap back at the same track 25 days ago over three furlongs further and with a strong pace likely courtesy of Pumbaa, The Black Russian and Draycott Place in the field, the in-form seven-year-old should get the sound pace he requires to be at his best.
Without doubt the highlight of the night and the whole season here at the Co Westmeath venue is the Midland National Handicap Chase and the two that make most appeal at their early quotes are CARRIGANOG (best price 4-1) and DUCKWEED (best price 12-1). The former warmed up nicely for a tilt at this prize with an excellent effort behind his old stable mate King Leon at Ballinrobe back in May but being as that was his first run since December, a good deal of improvement can be expected from the son of Shantou. On top of that, he could well improve for a switch in stables and being 2-2 at tonight’s track, he clearly relishes the tight nature of this course.
The latter also likes it here, as for figure of 123 testify, and following a deserved success at Limerick last time out, that performance should set him up nicely to add to those impressive tracks stats. Although not as experienced as many of his rivals here tonight, he does appear to jump well for a novice and he certainly has enough quality to be a major player on his first attempt in handicap company off his opening mark of 123.