Racing expert Andy Holding is up 63pts this month, he has six tips for today's racing.
A competitive-looking two-year-old contest in which several have already shown useful form at pattern level, but it might well be that a couple who have only had just the one run end up having the biggest say, namely BICKERSTAFFE (best price 5-2) and ROMAN ENCOUNTER (best price 7-1).
The former was well-touted prior to make his racecourse appearance at Hamilton last month and in a race that turned out to be quite a hot one for the track and grade, he came through his first assignment with flying colours. Slightly slowly away and hampered soon after the gates opened, Karl Burke’s juvenile wasn’t in the greatest of positions as the field hurtled down the hill at the Scottish venue, but once he met the rising ground, he showed a nice turn of foot as the penny began to drop to in the end, pull nicely clear of his five rivals. Super-strong in the finish, the son of Mayson clocked the sort of numbers which immediately suggested connections needed to think quite big and having bypassed the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury tomorrow in favour of this slightly less demanding contest on paper, this exciting prospect rates one of the most eagerly-awaited horses on show on day two of the Western meeting.
The latter is another who created a favourable impressed when winning at Beverley on debut and although she didn’t quite manage the same sort of overall speed figure as the main selection, her closing sectionals at the Yorkshire venue to take out the prize was equally as eye-catching. Dwelling coming out of the stalls and in rear for the first portion of the contest, Kevin Ryan’s filly did remarkably well to come from so far back on a day where racing prominently proved to be an advantage so it’s easy to draw to the conclusion she must be above-average and to rate her accordingly. Entered in several high-profile races at York’s Ebor meeting recently, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has swerved all of them in order to come here instead and providing the nearside of the track isn’t too much of an inconvenience, she has the ability and gears to play a significant role.
The first race at the three-day fixture where we could get a difference of opinion regards the draw so it’s difficult to have a dogmatic view either way, but providing both MUSIC SOCIETY (best price 8-1) and JOHN KIRKUP (best price 16-1) don’t end up on the wrong side of the track, there’s more than a strong possibility each can play a significant role.
The former looks one of the obvious starting points having captured this race last year, and his preparation appears to have been timed to perfection for his repeat bid judged by his latest exploits. Taking a while to reach peak fitness, Tim Easterby’s gelding seems to be approaching something like his best based on his effort at Ripon last time out when he finished his race off strongly from the back of the field to be a never-nearer fifth in a similar handicap to the one he faces this afternoon. Moreover, it’s significant that the son of Society Rock has dropped back down to a mark identical to the one he raced off twelve months ago and with there likely to be just about enough ease left in the ground in order for him to perform to maximum capacity, back-to-back victories are a distinct possibility hailing from a yard who struck three times here yesterday.
The latter has developed in to a proper track specialist in recent times and because of his impressive figures over the C&D, Michael Dodds’ gelding has to be worth more than a second look. Desperately unlucky in this race two years ago when he got no run whatsoever from over two furlongs out, the son of Assertive has enjoyed happier days since that unfortunate incident and following a deserved win back at the Scottish venue on his next visit, he’s gone on to add another victory and a second to his CV. One place behind Music Society at Ripon last time out, today’s stiffer track with some ease in the ground should suit better and with the middle of the course not a bad place to be as a rule on the straight track, the five-year-old chestnut makes quite a bit of each-way appeal at his morning price – especially with some firms paying six places.
INCLYNE (best price 9-2) is a very likable filly who the assessor might not have got totally hold of just yet and providing she’s fit and raring to go after a 106-day layoff, Andrew Balding’s inmate is fancied to press home that viewpoint in this concluding handicap.
A consistent and improving filly last season, the daughter of Intello was well-backed to make a winning start to this campaign at Newmarket and despite not having things go her way at HQ, she still managed to land the gamble. Way too keen in the early stages, the four-year-old chestnut was forced to challenge widest of all at the two-furlong pole and then after working her way to the front with that big manoeuvre, she found plenty for pressure on the rise to the line to see off the persistent challenge of Involved. Not only was the time figure pretty good for the grade, the runner-up went on to record two subsequent wins and is now rated 92, so based on that form line, it’s safe to say she’s done extremely well not to get raised retrospectively. A smooth traveller through her races, today’s 1m2f on good ground should prove ideal and she rates a decent each-way bet at the morning odds.
TASALKA (best price 6-1) just came out second best of a titanic struggle with Bolivar at Killarney last time out, but her performance still represented a huge step forward in terms of quality and she can continue her progression up the ladder in this similar contest.
A game winner when breaking her maiden tag at Naas back in July, Dermot Weld’s filly was upped significantly in grade at the Co Kerry venue two months later and after being held up towards the rear for majority of the journey, she stayed on strongly in the latter stages to force her old rival to pull out all the stops close home. Considering the ground conditions were terrible and very much in favour of Bolivar 30 days ago, the daughter of Lope De Vega did extremely well to run to such a high standard based on the speed figures and with tonight’s surface likely to be far more suitable, she rates a cast-iron each-way choice with the dead eight runners set to go to post.