Andy is convinced a certain Hannon horse will get that first win today after some close calls previously.
TAJAANUS (best price 8-1) posted a decent speed figure when landing a listed event at Sandown last time out and with third-placed Billesdon Brook going on to advertise the form next time out at Goodwood, there’s a good chance Richard Hannon’s filly can repeat the dose. Prior to that smart effort at the Esher track, the daughter of Arcano was more than a shade unlucky behind Dance Diva over today’s C&D and while it would be a brave man to suggest she would have won for certain that day, there’s no way she should be double the price of her old rival based on evidence to hand from that afternoon.
RAKE’S PROGRESS (best price 10-1) is a three-year-old going places on the evidence of his latest display at Newbury and despite the nagging doubt about the general performances of front runners over today’s track, he’s still worth keeping on side. Setting strong fractions at the Berkshire venue 16 days ago, Heather Main’s inmate swotted away a series of persistent challengers in the latter stages and in the end he ran out a ready winner. Although he faces another stern test of his mettle here this afternoon, he has the size and scope to cope with the extra burden and being a lover of genuine soft ground, conditions should be ideal in order for him to perform at his best.
HARMONICA (best price 7-2) found the combination of a fast-run 5f and inexperience counting against her at Nottingham on debut, but there’s a decent chance that a step up to a trip more in-keeping with her pedigree will reap benefits second time up. Totally outpaced and detached at halfway, Sir Mark Prescott’s inmate, did, however, make up some pleasing late headway to amazingly get within hailing distance of the eventual winner and with the time figures suggesting it was a decent race of its kind, this nicely-bred type should be more competitive here this evening.
NA TRACHTALAI ABU (best price 7-1) is a pretty reliable customer in these sort of races and following a solid effort in a similar contest at Killarney last time out, everything looks set fair for another positive display from the Beneficial gelding. Looking the most likely winner going down to the last, the seven-year-old couldn’t quite see it out on the run-in and he had to play second fiddle to the well-handicapped Sir Jacks Yeats, but with the pair nicely clear of the rest, the form looks fairly reliable. Prior to that excellent performance, John Motherwell’s inmate had rubber-stamped his liking for tonight’s sharp, right-handed track with a victory over subsequent dual winner Presenting Julio and with the same equipment on which has yielded plenty of recent success, he makes plenty of each-way appeal at his top morning price.