Andy Holding has four tips for today's racing, including a 2pt NAP at Wolverhampton.
YOUNG TIGER (best price 13-2) is probably better known for his exploits on the all-weather – mainly at Southwell – but he arrives here having got the job done nicely on a rare foray on the turf at Pontefract last time out and there’s no reason why he won’t go well again this afternoon in a race well within his compass.
Only once out of the frame in his last 12 starts, Tom Tate’s gelding’s propensity to travel well through his races has been the main reason why he’s been able to keep those stats intact for the thick end of a year and it was that calling card which partly led to him to secure career win number six at the Yorkshire venue 19 days ago. Well drawn in stall one, the son of Captain Gerrard was able to tuck in the slipstream of the well-backed favourite Paver’s Pride for the first part of the contest and then when push came to shove rounding the home turn and meeting the rising ground, he stayed on too strong for his main market rival to score by a cosy three-quarters-of-a-length. Handily draw again here this afternoon close to where all his main rivals are situated, the seven-year-old should be capable of tracking the pace down to halfway before being brought with what will hopefully be a telling blow in the latter stages.
RIVER ALWEN (best price 13-2) couldn’t quite match the finishing kick of Cloudbridge at Leicester on his debut, but considering how well the race unravelled on the speed figures nine days ago, it was more than a commendable effort by Richard Hannon’s youngster first time off the shelf and he can easily outrun his morning odds with that initial grounding under his belt.
Sent off at 20-1 at the Midland venue, the son of Dark Angel certainly didn’t go through the race like a wild outsider and in the end, he actually managed to easily outperform his better fancied stable mate Clarendon Cross, who was sent of a strong third favourite on the back of a commendable effort in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although getting a little tired late on after sitting on the shoulders of a strong pace from the start, he more than did enough to suggest he will be a potent force in a similar contest next time and despite the presence of Legend Of Dubai and the potentially useful newcomer Branwell in the line-up, this likeable colt can make the frame at the very least.
THUMUR (NAP) (best price 7-4) has been up against some pretty useful three-year-olds so far this season, performing pretty well in the main, and with today’s contest looking by far and away his easiest task to date, he’s strongly fancied to provide his red-hot handler with his fifth winner in his last nine runners.
A big eye-catcher on his debut at Kempton last season, Owen Burrows’ colt went into the winter with bright prospects of making up into a useful middle-distance performer as a three-year-old and although he hasn’t quite hit the heights connections may have hoped for just yet, he still has the potential to leave his current mark well and truly behind. A promising third to the smart Matthew Flinders at Doncaster on his first run for 246 days back in June, the son of Golden Horn didn’t manage to better that finishing position in a much hotter race at York several weeks later, but that doesn’t mean to say he didn’t shape with any more promise. Outpaced as the tempo increased three out, it was noticeable that he picked up nicely again inside the final furlong and in going on strongly at the line, he left the distinct impression he would be seen to better effect over further next time. Today’s 1m4f journey back on the all-weather, therefore, should prove ideal and providing Dane O’Neill can get him to switch off and relax in the early stages, he will hopefully have too much class for his six rivals at the business end.
LEONCAVALLO (best price 2-1) probably isn’t one to go raiding the kids’ piggy bank for, but at the same time, he’s more than capable of holding his own in this sort of grade and it’s just a question of whether he has the inclination to go and get the job done.
Having his first run for new connections after a 204-day break, David Pipe’s gelding was well-supported to make the perfect start to life at his new surroundings in what looked a competitive handicap at Sandown and although he rather threw what looked a winning chance away close home, he at least proved that everything is still in working order following a wind op. Sent back over fences to see whether he could make an impact in that sphere, the son of Cape Cross proved a total revelation, scoring by an impressive 13 lengths over the useful Oscar Rose and with the time figure very good and the third home winning since, the form looks as good as the numbers suggest. Tried in blinkers today in a bid to focus his mind even further, James Doyle is set with the task of getting this mercurial but talented character to believe he’s Jaws rather than Baby Shark.