Andy Holding has four tips for Wednesday's racing, including a 3pt NAP at Kempton
SANKALPA (best price 4-1) shaped with a good deal of encouragement on her racecourse debut at Salisbury 27 days ago and with the time figure and standard of that race at the Wiltshire already beginning to stand the test, Eve Johnson Houghton’s filly can keep up the fine run of her handler in recent weeks.
Sent off 28-1 against some well-regarded fillies from powerful yards, the daughter of Zoffany was already in the process of outrunning her odds at the halfway stage and although she couldn’t make an impact on the first two who kicked right away in the final quarter mile, she still kept on pleasingly enough to finish a creditable fourth. Despite being beaten upwards of six lengths, her closing sectionals till come out well in comparison to the winner, Lady Haynes, and Dick Poole heroine Happy Romance and with the likelihood of her being even more effective over today’s extra trip (related to the stable’s Kiefer), she makes plenty of each-way appeal at the morning odds.
A competitive sprint handicap on paper, but there’s a fair chance that the three-year-olds BIMBLE (best price 2-1) and PUNCHBOWL FLYER (best price 10-1) will provide their old counterparts plenty to think about based on their recent exploits.
The former ran out an impressive winner on her seasonal reappearance at Goodwood back in June but wasn’t seen out again until returning to action 80 days later at Salisbury. Well-backed in the lead up to the off, Henry Candy’s filly looked like she was going to land the punt for the majority of the contest so well did she travel, but she ended up not quite getting the job done as the game Star In The Making just found a bit more for pressure close home. Despite not winning, she came away from the Wiltshire venue with her reputation still intact and with today’s flatter track and better ground likely to play more into her strengths, the daughter of Acclamation can prove that she still remains a well handicapped filly.
The latter is far more exposed than the main selection, but she does at least have plenty of experience in big-field handicaps such as the one he faces today. A close-up fourth in 19-strong field at Ascot two starts ago in a race which has already seen the likes of the well-beaten trio Strong Power, Dick Datchery and Crantock Bay run well since, the son of Dream Ahead took part in an even tougher race at Haydock last weekend and even though he failed to cut much ice, he was spotted doing some sterling late work from the back of the field. Finishing full of running at the Merseyside venue, he ran a good deal better than the form figures imply and with Georgia Dobie likely to bring out the best in the three-year-old who does need a bit of finessing, he’s worth a small each-way interest at double-figure odds.
ISLAND NATION (NAP) (best price 7-4) won as he pleased over tonight’s course last week and even though he drops back a furlong in his bid to repeat the dose, he still should have far too many guns for this similar opposition.
A well-backed favourite the time before at Chepstow, Heather Main’s gelding failed to land the gamble on account of the very soft ground at the Welsh venue so it was a case of back to the drawing board and trying to find him the right set of circumstances where he could offload his skills. Back on the all-weather in pursuit of the retrieval mission, the son of Ruler Of The World always looked in total control seven days ago, and when unleashed with a run as the field dashed past the cutaway, he quickly put the race to bed with a smart turn of foot. Eased down towards the finish, the three-year-old still had five lengths to spare over his toiling rivals and with the time figure also backing up the visual aspect of the display, a copy and paste performance should be good enough to see him dish out a similar beating.