Racing expert Andy Holding is starting off this week with three tips today, after bagging 39pts of profit last week!
BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE (best price 8-1) was well-backed to make a winning debut at Dundalk 30 days ago, and although Joseph O’Brien’s colt failed in his bid to justify his position in the market, he did more than enough to warrant an interest in his bid to gain compensation in a similar race next time out.
A winner of a barrier trial on the same day that stable mate Thunder Moon was sighted for the first time, the son of War Front was well-backed to confirm the impression he made at the Co Lough venue and although he didn’t quite manage to justify his position in the market, he at least came out of the race with a sound foundation to build on in the future. Indeed, since that race was run a month ago, the runner-up has bolted up and the third has run well since, and with those results falling in line with the time figure achieved by the main players, it would come as no surprise to see this promising colt follow suit providing he can translate the same level of form on to the grass.
CRACKING NAME (best price 5-1) usually takes three or four runs to get somewhere near peak fitness and with a similar pattern unravelling in the build-up to today’s contest back at her favourite venue, the daughter of Famous name looks primed to rack up course win number four.
Shaping with encouragement on her first three starts of the campaign, David Marnane’s filly gave out even more positive signals at Leopardstown on her latest outing when a creditable third in a race much stronger than the one she encounters today, and with the sixth horse home that day, Khafaaq going on to advertise the form with a win since, the race at the Dublin venue is already beginning to take shape. On paper, today’s wide draw in stall 18 would seem a bad place to be at first glance, but knowing how this track usually rides when there’s a bit of cut in the ground, the field tend to migrate down the centre-to-nearside in the home straight as racing progresses, so in effect, her likely position on the outside of the field may have its benefits. Either way, the fact she’s won three times over today’s C&D clearly indicates she performs to a better standard having to only travel just a few miles down the road, and with conditions to suit, the six-year-old may well provide his local handler with some well-needed cheer (only had 17 runners so far this season).
POINT OF HONOUR (NAP) (best price 11-2) had the misfortune to bump into an extremely well handicapped horse in the shape of Cormier at Catterick last week, but with nothing of that calibre in the way of him here this afternoon, Philip Makin’s improving gelding has a decent opportunity to regain the winning thread.
The son of Lope De Vega first locked horns with his old rival at the same venue a month ago and considering he was still a maiden after 18 starts, and was having his first outing for 299 days, his effort in finishing a close-up third was the first real sign the tide might be beginning to turn for this 46-rated performer. Well-backed to seize the initiative despite dropping back down in trip at Beverley next time, the five-year-old gelding came from a long way back to justify favouritism late on and with the overall speed figure of the race very good for the grade, his display suggested he could take his newly-found game to another level. Although he proved no match for Brian Ellison’s in-form performer at the Yorkshire venue last week, he did manage to beat the rest by a long way and if he’s ridden with a bit more ambition here this afternoon, a positive outcome should be forthcoming in a race where only a handful make any sort of appeal.