Our bang in-form pundit landed a double from just two selections yesterday.
As Bobo Mac proved at Southwell yesterday, the form of the race won by Ridgeway Flyer is clearly worth following, so with that in mind, ALFIE’S CHOICE (best price 11-2) has to be of some interest on handicap debut. Although Kim Bailey’s charge couldn’t go with the main protagonists that day, he did more than enough to suggest there are plenty of races to be won with him in the right grade and given that he was more outpaced than a question of stamina being an issue, today’s step up in trip should also aid his cause. Prior to that useful effort at the Shropshire track, the son of Shantou had also shaped well behind a nice horse of Dan Skelton’s at the same venue and with drying ground another positive in his direction today, he rates a fair each-way bet at his top morning odds.100% Bonus Up to £200
Any horse that can run 2.13.0 (2.15.0 median time) for the circuit over 1m 4f here on the Fibresand is certainly worth noting, so safe with knowledge that BUSY STREET (NAP) (best price 6-4) managed that feat on his latest outing, Alan Swinbank’s looks a sound bet to stamp his authority on this field. Off the back of a five-month break, the son of Champs Elysees was the only one to offer any resistance to the match-fit, in-form Samtu in a strongly-run contest seven days ago and with the pair pulling nicely clear of the other form horse in the race, Storm King, the level of performance he achieved was clearly one of a very high standard. Not only did he post a very smart overall time, his closing sectionals of 36.6 for the last three furlongs were in-keeping with the sort of fractions associated with sprinters and given that he was short of room and had to be snatched up inside the distance, his effort deserves upgrading even further. Although the five-year-old has a bit of form on the turf, he clearly relishes this deep surface at the Nottinghamshire track – as form figures of 212 testify - and with his main market rival, Muqarred (clocked 38.5 for last 3f of his mile win here on same card) a complete unknown regards today’s trip, he should have too much stamina and speed for Roger Fell’s inmate and, for The Lock Master, who probably isn’t getting any quicker at the ripe old age of 10.
BANNY’S LAD (best price 7-1) was a slight disappointment when beaten at a short price at Doncaster last time out, but a bad mistake at the fourth last and a very impressive winner were contributory factors to his defeat and he’s worth another chance to get back on track. An easy winner at Sedgefield the time before, Mick Easterby’s inmate took advantage of a big drop in the weights following a series of indifferent performances and although today’s competition suggests he’s going to have to raise his game to another level, his current wellbeing and quicker underfoot conditions (has won on fast ground in the past) point towards him being able to bridge the gap.
Time figure-wise, the bumper won by Black Op at Doncaster was one of a very high standard and with Claimantakinforgan going on to prove the value of the form with an excellent effort in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last week, CANFORD CHIMES (best price 2-1), having finished a creditable third on Town Moor, has to have a big chance of capturing this prize. Although Alan King’s charge couldn’t match strides with the front pair that day, he kept on well enough to finish nicely clear of the rest (11 lengths back to the fourth) and given that he wasn’t unduly punished either, improvement both mentally and physically can be expected with that initial run under his belt.