Racing expert Andy Holding is up 40pts since Tuesday last week, he has three tips for today's racing.
DIXIE BLUEBELL (best price 4-1) has come up against a decent standard of opponent on both her two starts to date and being as she’s the one with the most favourable draw of those towards the top end of the market, she can take advantage of her high stall towards the nearside fence.
Showing bright speed on her debut at the Curragh, Jim Bolger’s filly only just wilted inside the final furlong of a maiden run at a sound clip over a stiff six-furlongs on soft ground and with the subsequent form having worked out a treat since with the likes of winner, St Mark’s Basilica, finishing third in the Group 1 National Stakes, and with the second, third and tenth all going in, it’s fair to say she ran way beyond her 66-1 price tag. Much warmer in the market for her latest encounter at Navan, the daughter of Fracas once again impressed with the way she travelled through a large majority of the extended five-furlong journey and it was only once she met the steep rise to the line late on that she succumbed to the more streetwise winner, Tar Heel. Racing over a flat track at the minimum trip for the first time, the promising juvenile has also been given a handy draw on the better ground towards the near rail based on what occurred here yesterday so providing she breaks well and holds her position through the early exchanges, the fact that she will be racing on the quicker ground once they field go past the intersection where the straight and the round course meet, should have a huge bearing on the final outcome.
ROCKVIEW EXPRESS (NAP) (best price 11-4) has really found her lane since being stepped up in trip and, with the numbers she posted when scoring at Navan last week pretty impressive for the grade, it’s difficult to envisage anything in this race preventing her from repeating the dose – even more so as she’s been handed a favourable high draw.
On the fringes of the action in her first four starts, John McConnell’s filly indicated of brighter times ahead when fourth in a competitive contest over a mile on heavy ground at Bellewstown a month ago, yet despite that decent effort against the track bias, she was surprisingly dropped 3lb. Nibbled at in the market to take advantage of the apparent leniency, the daughter of Lope De Vega didn’t disappoint as she powered to victory over an 18-strong field at the Co Meath track, leaving the impression there was plenty more left in the locker if required. Moreover, a wide draw out of the swamp around the inside isn’t a bad place to be based on the evidence here 24 hours ago (yesterday’s winners on the round track were drawn 15 of 15, 18 of 18, 18 of 18 and 10 of 13), so providing Siobhan Rutledge has done her homework and rides to her lane around the outside, the improving three-year-old filly should be in the best place to strike coming down the home straight.
NIBBLERS CHARM (best price 7-1) turned out to be a bit of a disappointment when a well-backed favourite at Gowran last time out, but his run may have not been as bad as first anticipated and he’s afforded another chance to prove that he remains an interesting project on the Flat.
Seemingly holding all the aces returning to the level following an easy victory over several subsequent winners in a hot handicap hurdle at Galway (Poseidon, Décor Irlandais and Goodbye Sunday the main three to highlight), Ray Hackett’s gelding proved all the rage in the pre-race market being backed down at all rates from 9-4 to 5-4, but as it turned out, he couldn’t even make the frame against several who hadn’t, until then, shown anything like his level of form. However, given how the race panned out and the closing sectionals in particular, the numbers reveal the first three home that day all ran the final four furlongs in a time only bettered by the Group 3 winner on the same card, Champers Elysees, so at least it does go some way to explain why the son of Court Cave failed to quicken as well as some of his main market rivals. Given the race at the Co Kenny venue was probably above-average for its kind, the seven-year-old is likely to be more effective on his first foray into handicap company and off an opening mark of 76 (129 over hurdles) and with a nice draw in stall 16 enabling him to run around the favoured outside of the track on the better ground, it would be disappointing if the locally-trained gelding couldn’t make the frame at the very least this time around.