Our racing expert has picked out six horses worth backing today.
CALIBURN (best price 5-4) has run two hugely encouraging races so far to date and he looks poised to strike with that valuable experience under his belt. Hughie Morrison’s colt was firstly involved in a hot novice event at Newmarket (second and third won since) where he shaped better than his final position suggested and then sent up North for a more minor contest, he again caught the eye with his finishing effort.
Not that well placed in a tactically-run affair the Yorkshire venue, the son of Camelot charged home inside the final two furlongs, leaving the impression he may have landed the prize had he not spent most of the race running with the dummy in his mouth.
Having taken an age to get into top gear last time, he should turn out to be much better suited by today’s more galloping track and longer run-in and hailing from a stable just beginning to gather a nice head of steam going into Royal Ascot, Hugo Palmer’s inmate rates a strong choice in the opener.
CARADOC (bets price 15-8) finished his race off so strongly when winning at Chester last time out, his jockey simply couldn’t pull him up after the line (actually went the complete circuit of the Roodeye) and with the promise of more to come, Ed Walker’s exciting three-year-old gains a confident vote to take another significant step up the ladder.
Held up off the back of even fractions 18 days ago, the Camelot colt made steady headway going well rounding the home bend and then once out in the clear inside the final furlong, he found a ready turn of pace to quickly scamper away from his rivals in a short space of time. Although he faces a stiff task up against likely improver Swiss Knight, he remains one to keep on side and he rates the value call of the race around the 2-1 mark.
SKY MARSHALL (best price 5-1) was ultimately set a stiff task on his return to action after an 84-day break at Newbury last time out, but he left the impression he was by far and away the best horse in the race and is taken to confirm that notion with plenty seemingly in his favour.
In great form on the all-weather during the winter – rattling off a quick hat trick – Ed Walker’s gelding was dropped out by design at the Berkshire venue due to his high draw and that meant he turned for home some way off the speed. Staying on remorselessly all the way down the straight he picked every runner apart from the more prominently-ridden Orin Swift to just fall short by the narrowest of margins, but that run proved that he may still be someway ahead of the handicapper and he makes plenty of appeal at the morning prices.
ENIGMATIC (best price 11-4) made a winning debut for his new yard over today’s C&D three weeks ago and everything about that performance points towards Alan Bailey’s four-year-old going in again. Lightly-raced and a previously dual winner when in the care of Jamie Osbourne, the son of Elnadim arrived at the seaside venue off the back of a 125-day break but despite that pause in his career, it made no difference to his overall performance levels.
Always handy, the in-form gelding took up the running approaching the final furlong and then once let down and in top gear in the closing stages, he readily pulled clear to record a resounding success. The way the field got strung out in the latter part of the race suggested they’d gone a good gallop and that was confirmed by the very good time figure for the race.
Moreover, his closing four-furlong sectionals were the best on the card and it’s just a simply case as to whether he’s in the same sort of shape 21 days on because today’s opposition won’t be good enough to stop him if he is.
HAMLUL (best price 15-2) showed more ability that the bare result suggested on his debut at Nottingham and he’s expected to take a huge leap forward on his second start and prove a good deal more competitive. In a roughhouse of a race through the first two furlongs, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge got messed about and hampered by the unseated Mazboon and, as a result, he found himself with a mountain to climb as the field swung for home.
Making up plenty of nice late headway, however, he came home in the style of a horse that would really improve for the experience and providing he can break a little more alertly this time around, he has the qualities to be a major factor in a race that doesn’t appear to have any superstars in the field.
ROSERIVER HAS (best price 15-8) left the impression he should have won at Down Royal last time out and he’s afforded another chance to prove that theory correct in a race where, despite the big field, surely only a handful count.
In good form on the Flat during the Spring, Noel Meade’s charge got off the mark in that discipline in fine style at Tipperary in April and it was that performance which persuaded punters to make him a red-hot 6-4 favourite on his return to hurdles on his latest outing.
Held up some way off the speed, the five-year-old grey got rather pocketed in on the inside rails at a crucial stage when some of his main rivals jumped the gun on him at the top of the hill with three to jump, and even though he made a brave attempt to claw back the lost ground in the final half mile, the dye was unfortunately cast and he had to settle for an honourable third. Clearly much better than that finishing position suggests, hopefully a much more positive ride tonight will reap better dividends.