Four fancies from Andy Holding today including a 2pt each way NAP at Punchestown.
15.10 Newton Abbot
Quite a few possibilities in this competitive-looking handicap hurdle with many arriving here in decent nick, and none more so that DINO VELVET (best price 4-1) who should go very close to brushing aside top weight based on his recent form. Relatively quiet throughout most of the winter due to the bad ground, Alan King’s came back with a bang after an 83-day break to score in tidy fashion at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting and it’s that performance which gives the five-year-old more than a just a squeak in this contest. On top of a smart speed figure he posted that day, the form has also taken several boosts with the likes of Master Of Irony and Oliver’s Gold both winning since and hailing from a stable that have really caught fire in the last few weeks, the son of Naaqoos should turn out to be a massive player.
The victory of Ripp Orf in last weekend’s Victoria Cup at Ascot paid a huge compliment to SALT WHISTLE BAY (best price 5-4), who’d beat him comfortably the time before over today’s C&D, and he only has to be in a similar sort of shape to follow up in this weaker-looking affair. Making his seasonal return 15 days ago, Rae Guest’s four-year-old was always going best and once give his head inside the final furlong, he quickly assumed command. Furthermore, his winning time was exceptionally good for the grade and with some of his best form previously coming over a mile, the step up in trip here this afternoon could even bring out further improvement in this progressive son of Royal Applause.
WORLD ORDER (best price 2-1) was unlucky to bump into an above-average filly in the shape of No Lippy on debut at Doncaster but with that all-important under his belt, he can hopefully put that valuable experience to good use at the second time of asking. In a race run at a sound pace on Town Moor, Declan Carroll’s juvenile impressed by the way he travelled through the contest and even though he couldn’t quite get the better of the eventual winner in the closing stages, he certainly made Mark Johnston’s filly work hard for her victory. Now on better ground and hailing from a stable who’ve taken this prize in 2012 and 2017, the son of Society Rock rates a sound prospect to sends the trophy back to his Malton base.
MR FIFTYONE (NAP) (best price 4-1) is not only a regular in this race, but also a standing dish at tonight’s track in general and his fine record at the Co Kildare venue looks set to continue with ideal conditions to suit. Winner of this race in 2016, Jessica Harrington’s nine-year-old put up a bold display in last season’s renewal when bidding to keep hold of his crown and following a notable effort in a one of the big handicaps at the festival here a month ago, he should be just about cherry-ripe in his bid to try and win back his title. In a race noted for its incredibly strong pace throughout, the Jeremy gelding came from a good way back to finish a creditable fourth to the well-handicapped Cadmium and with several in behind that day including the likes of Tongie and Just Get Cracking going on to advertise the form subsequently, he should be capable of giving the favourite, Asthuria, plenty to think about at his favourite track.