After a profitable week last week, Andy Holding has four tips to start off your Monday
It’s traditionally around this time of year when the three-year-olds begin to come into their own in against the more exposed, older horses and NUGGET (NAP) (best price 4-1) is fancied to prove he’s a good bit better than his current mark back over a trip that will see him in a much better light than at Newmarket 16 days ago.
Too strong for the hitherto unlucky Jumaira Bay on handicap debut at Doncaster a month ago, Richard Hannon’s colt was well-backed to repeat the dose when upped two-furlong at HQ last time out and although he looked like he might deliver the goods going down past the bushes and down into the dip, he just didn’t have the necessary stamina to outstay Al Mayson going up the hill to the line. That said, he did keep on bravely enough to pull nicely clear of the other pair in the race and with the time figure once again pretty good, his performance went someway to match the numbers he produced on Town Moor previously. A likeable type with a decent amount of quality to match, the son of Siyouni will hopefully get slotted into the pack early from his wide draw and brought with a steady run down the centre of the track in the home straight.
TIMEMAKESITFINE (best price 8-1) became an instant hit for new connections at Fairyhouse last time out and she’s expect to keep up the good recent work for trainer Denis Hogan in a race which should be run to suit. Having her first run for the Co Tipperary handler and off a 114-day break, the daughter of Lope De Vega was allowed to go off at 20-1 at the Co Meath venue and in the end, that position in the market proved way out of line. Off a good, even pace, the four-year-old filly was switched wide turning for home after tracking the pace on the inside and from the furlong pole onward, she readily pulled clear of her toiling rivals. Clocking a smart time figure for the grade, she clearly stays well and with today’s contest sure to be run at a sound clip with Saturdayy’s winner, Wilderness, and Curragh all-the-way scorer Aunt Bee in the line-up, she should be given the perfect platform to excel.
MAKE GOOD (best price 8-1) has yet to set the world on fire since joining new connections from his old UK base, but there enough encouraging signs at Bellewstown last time out to warrant a small interest here this evening.
Held up towards the rear at the Co Meath venue, John McConnell’s gelding still had plenty to do as the field turned for the judge, but after taking a while to find his feet in the home straight, he picked really nicely to finish on the coat tails of the main players. Since that run 11 days ago, the winner, Allora Yeats, has gone on to land a competitive affair at the Curragh and the sixth home, Wojood, won at Dundalk yesterday, so it’s clear we are deal with an above-average contest for the grade. Given the way he finished off his race too, today’s stiff uphill climb from three out should suit and off the same mark, it would be disappointing if he couldn’t make some sort of impact against similar opponents, class-wise.
PAULA’S PRAYER (best price 15-2) hasn’t yet managed to finish in the frame in 14 starts, but there was more cause for optimism with her run at Bellewstown the other night and for that reason, she’s afforded another chance against similar opposition.
Having her first outing for 156 days, Conor O’Dwyer’s mare was still last as the field turning for home at the Co Meath venue but by the time she’d hit the line, she’d managed to pick off quite a few notable scalps in the final three furlongs (previous winners Red Vermillion and Lalipour among those she quickened passed). For an unconsidered 100-1 poke, she actually found quite a nice turn of foot, relatively speaking, in this time frame and it’s just a simple case of whether she’s good enough or reliable enough to go and do it again. Obviously, that theory comes with its own risks with a horse rated 45 who hasn’t been the most consistent up to now, but it’s often best to go with your own on and gut feeling in this game and take a chance when the evidence is leaning heavily in the one direction.