There are some large prices in Andy Holding's eight tips this Friday!
14:15 Newton Abbott
The conditions are likely to change quite dramatically during the afternoon if the forecast rain gets into the ground, but that won’t bother BEGGAR’S WISHES (best price 9-1) one jot and he looks to have been seriously underestimated according to the early morning prices. Other than one poor run at Sandown, Peter Bowen’s charge had a pretty productive first season over fences and he rounded off the campaign with a silky-smooth victory at Haydock. In beating some handy types that day, the seven-year-old posted a smart speed figure at the Merseyside venue and that was his second victory on the spin in the tongue-tie/blinker combination. Moreover, he was also impressive on his first outing of the campaign at Sedgefield, which cemented his excellent record of his performances off the back of a long break (record off a layoff over 70 days 424112), and with the likelihood of not all today’s rivals being cherry-ripe for their seasonal reappearances, the son of Oscar is likely to prove a bigger player than his odds suggest.
INCLYNE (best price 20-1) was far too green to do herself justice on debut at Leicester, but at the same time, she did show a good deal of promise during the latter part of the race and she’s fancied to improved markedly on that opening bow. Slowly away and towards the rear early at the Midland track, Andrew Balding’s filly spent the first part of the race looking around and galloping into the air rather than getting her head down and racing properly, but it was noticeable that when the penny finally began to drop in the second half of the contest, she exhibited a fair degree of ability. Time figure-wise, the race produced a decent speed figure and with the winner, Canton Queen, going on to run really well in a hot Group 2 next time out, the daughter of Intello clearly ran to a decent standard on his first outing off the shelf.
A useful little maiden on paper and the two that make the most appeal at the prices are THE GREAT STORY (best price 13-2) and TWENTY YEARS ON (best price 50-1). The former shaped really well on his first start for George Scott at Pontefract last time out and if it wasn’t for the power-packed finish of the more experienced Never Do Nothing (best closing sectionals on the card), the son of Sea The Moon would have made the perfect start for his Newmarket handler. Shaping as though a galloping track would also suit, today’s wide-open expanses should be absolutely ideal for this likeable two-year-old to let rip and he simply has to go close for a yard creeping into a decent bit of form towards the backend of the campaign.
The latter could never land a meaningful blow at the front two on debut at Lingfield, but he certainly shaped better than the bare result suggested and he’s worth a few quid to see if he can build on that initial effort. Dwelling in the stalls, Richard Hughes’ juvenile found himself towards the rear of the field and in an uncompromising position coming down the hill at the Surrey venue, but once extricating himself from the pocket rounding the home turn and into the straight (had horses dropping back in his lap), he picked up nicely to finish a never-nearer third. Bound to be better for that opening bow, the son of Rip Van Winkle will obviously have to improve again to figure in what appears a decent contest, but on the evidence of what we saw first time out, he may just be capable of doing just that can causing a shock.
The race won by Innamorare at Cork the other day was decent one of its kind and having gone well through the race only to get nabbed by the winner close home, WAITAKI (best price 5-1) is fancied to gain some sort of compensation two days on. Coming from the rear to lead two out at the Co Mallow venue, it looked like the daughter of Invincible Spirit was going to land the spoils, but in the end the extended mile just found her out in the dying strides and she was agonisingly run out of the argument in the shadows of the post. A winner over today’s trip at Fairyhouse earlier in the campaign, Dermot McLoughlin’s mare is also 1-1 over tonight’s track courtesy of a six-furlong maiden win when with previous connections and in a race sure to be run at a decent clip with favourite Time Stands Still in the line-up, the five-year-old is expected to come through late on to take a hand in the finish.
EBBISHAM (best price 15-2) has been a bit below-par on his last two starts, but there’s a fair chance that a return to his old stomping ground might just provide him with the spark he needs to be competitive again. Just the one pace when a well-beaten eighth behind War Department at Newcastle last time out (poorly drawn), John Mackie’s gelding is probably better judged on several of his previous efforts over tonight’s course, including his promising performance after a 150-day break in July. Impressive when scoring at the Dunstall Park track over 7f this time last year, the son of Holy Roman Emperor also has solid form over the extended mile trip next to his name, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to expect a decent show.
KATIYMANN (NAP) (best price 7-2) has been plying his trade in most of the better premier handicaps so far this season and although he’s yet to get his name on the winners’ board, there’s a fair chance that might change here tonight as Micky Halford’s gelding takes a significant drop down in class. An eye-catcher over an inadequate trip at Leopardstown last time out, the son of Shamardal had previously finished a creditable runner-up in the hugely-competitive Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh and that was the third time in succession where he’d gone well at the Co Kildare venue when the pace was strong. Going back to this time last year, the six-year-old kicked off his all-weather campaign with a smooth victory in a competitive handicap over 7f and having backed that up with a second and another win over tonight’s C&D, it’s hard to see him not going well again with seemingly plenty in his favour.
A trappy and competitive little handicap to conclude the card but it’s a race well within the capabilities of SLEEPY HEAD (best price 11-2) and he deserves to be played accordingly. A dual winner over tonight’s course, Pat Flynn’s inmate returned to something like his best when a solid fourth over the C&D last time out and if it wasn’t for a slow beginning that night, he may have finished good deal closer. Moreover, the time figure and form of the race subsequently has worked out a treat (Park Row won again) and providing he can pop out of the stalls on a more level footing here this evening, there’s no reason why he won’t be competitive in the latter stages.