Andy Holding has four tips for Sunday's racing, including a 2pt NAP at Nottingham
Ralph Beckett has his team in great order at present, particularly his two-year-olds, and FABILIS (NAP) (best price 7-4) can provide the Kimpton handler with another winner in that discipline if running anywhere near the level he showed at Chepstow last time out.
Promising on his debut at Newbury when probably finding the soft ground too severe a test, the son of Frankel clearly learnt from that initial experience at the Berkshire venue as he was out the gates like a shot 17 days ago and once establishing a clear advantage against the stands’ side rail, he ended up providing too strong for his main market rival Il Bandito. Clocking a fair speed figure in the process, this Derby entry went some way to suggest that lofty entry is not total pie in the sky and with today’s trip threatening to bring about even further improvement, he’s likely to prove hard to catch if obtaining an early lead over a course that often benefits front runners.
On the evidence of what we saw in the Renaissance Stakes here yesterday, the stands’ side rail might not be a bad place to be over the sprint distances, so with that in mind, SILVER SPEAR (best price 18-1) might have a better chance than her position in the market suggests.
Third in a listed contest over today’s C&D on her final outing last season, Andrew Slattery’s filly began this term in encouraging fashion when fourth in a competitive sprint handicap from a bad draw. Placed again in a similar heat at Naas next time, the daughter of Clodovil received an audacious entry in the Group 1 Flying Five back at the Co Kildare venue last time out and although she expectedly came up way short in the final reckoning, she actually didn’t run as bad as her 200-1 price tag indicated. Detached at halfway, largely due to her coffin box draw, the three-year-old ran on quite willingly in the latter stages to claim some useful scalps and with her likely to find today’s opposition a good deal more palatable on her return visit, she can go well being housed right next to the likely pace setter, A Step Too Far, towards the nearside rail.
BARRINGTON COURT (best price 6-1) had the misfortune to bump into the very progressive filly Princess Zoe in a smart contest against her own sex at Galway last time out and a repeat of a similar level of form should see her going close now taking on the boys.
Probably better known for her exploits over hurdles until recent times, Jessica Harrington’s mare proved a revelation on her first outing on the Flat two starts ago at Bellewstown and she proved there was nothing fluky about that seven-length victory with her excellent effort in the Oyster Stakes 19 days ago. A far way behind at halfway, the daughter of Mastercraftsman was the only one to offer any resistance to one of the most improved horses in training over in Ireland this season and with today’s two-mile trip likely to see her in an even better light, she should be capable of putting up a bold show.
BERNARDO O’REILLY (best price 4-1) had to go down as an extremely unlucky loser at Ayr last time out but at least he went some way to prove his current wellbeing and he’s fancied to make amends with a better rub of the green.
A six-year-old that can sometimes go missing in his races, at the same time when he’s on his game he tends to piece together good, solid results and that appears to be the pattern that is emerging with him at the present moment in time. His win at Doncaster two starts ago, although seemingly a bolt from the blue, would have been even further enhanced had he not got badly hampered at an important part in proceedings at the Scottish track last weekend but given the way he finished off his race away from the main action up the stands’ side rail strongly indicated he would have gone close with anything like a clear run. Drawn close to likely pace-setter Recon Mission here today, he should get a nice tow into the business end of the contest from which point he should be vying for top honours.