After a profitable Saturday, Andy Holding has six selections for today's meetings.
STREETS OF DOYEN (best price 15-8) arrives here in terrific shape courtesy of wins at Roscommon and Cork of late and being one of the few in the line-up guaranteed to stay the three-mile trip, he makes plenty of appeal at the morning odds.
Looking back, John McConnell’s gelding did quite well to be so competitive over the minimum trip given his recent exploits, but since connections have worked out that he requires a much stiffer test, he hasn’t looked back. Very strong in the finish at the latter venue, the son of Doyen posted a fair final circuit time in comparison to the rest of the card to go along with his solid overall speed figure and with his favoured good ground still in place, he can make a bold fist of trying to execute the hat trick.
15:10 Ffos Las
A classy-looking renewal of the Welsh Champion Hurdle with several big names making their eagerly-awaited seasonal reappearances, but if fitness is going to prove an advantage then MILKWOOD (best price 7-1) is the one most likely to press home any weakness in others.
Useful in bumpers, Neil Mulholland’s gelding continued his progression over hurdles last season with a win and two placed efforts in three starts and it was his last run of the campaign behind Scaramanga in a well-run affair at Wincanton which prompted a sure sign of things to come. Having his first outing for 301 days, the son of Dylan Thomas impressed with the way he travelled throughout the contest before delivering a knockout blow in the latter stages and with the time figure once again pointing in the direction of another big slice of improvement, he has all the credentials to make the transition into this higher grade.
MY MINERVINA (best price 10-1) has shaped with a huge amount of encouragement on both her two starts to date and she has gathered enough knowledge to piece it all together and make a big impact in the final of this EBF series.
Slow away on her debut at Bellewstown back in August, Jessica Harrington’s filly was noted doing some sterling work from the back of the field in the closing stages and if it wasn’t for the similar late surge of Ecliptical, she would have made the perfect start to her career. Sent to the Curragh for her latest encounter, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor got done no favours by being draw right out in the car park in stall 20 (of 21), so to end up finishing a creditable fourth behind a filly who might have aspirations of Group-race glory further down the line, was more than a commendable effort. Moreover, the way she tanked her way through the majority of that stiff mile at the Co Kildare venue strongly suggested she has plenty of speed to be a more viable proposition over shorter distances, so with today’s seven-furlong trip on soft likely to prove ideal, she can continue the good recent work of her in-form yard.
Verdana Blue is understandably all the rage following a productive campaign on the Flat recently, but we also know Paul Nicholls’ horses are in blinding form since the season really stepped up a notch and his representative here, DIEGO DU CHARMIL (best price 15-2) is worth a small interest in the with and ‘without the favourite’ markets.
Probably better known for his exploits over fences in recent times, the son of Ballingarry landed a valuable handicap at Ascot first time up last season before going to chase home stable mate Capeland in a similar contest back at the same venue. Reverting back to the smaller obstacles for his final outing of the campaign, he went a long way to remind us all he’s more than capable of performing at a decent level over hurdles when runner-up to the very game Song For Someone over today’s C&D, but with the likes of the useful Chi’tibello and Elgin all well beaten in behind, the form stacks up well in the context of today’s race. Additionally, it’s worth pointed out that the eight-year-old has scored four times after he’s been on a lay-off of 100 days or more, and with today’s quickish ground also likely to suit, he looks the one to keep Verdana Blue the most honest.
BARRINGTON COURT (NAP) (best price 11-4) has done little wrong in defeat on her last two starts and she rates a strong choice to press home her apparent class edge in this listed fillies’ prize.
A wide-margin winner on her first start on the Flat at Bellewstown back in August, connections wasted no time in raising the stakes by running the daughter of Mastercraftsman in pattern company at Galway and although she came up just slightly short of the mark, a two length defeat of subsequent Group 1 Prix Du Cadran winner Princess Zoe can hardly be described as a negative. The same applies too of her latest effort when chasing home the classy colt Dawn Patrol, and if it wasn’t for the fact she was forced to give away valuable ground away rounding the home turn (winner nipped up the inside), she probably would have captured that Group 3 prize. Back down to a more suitable trip on ground she prefers and, with the likelihood of a very strong pace she requires courtesy of Wilderness and Starlight Dream in the line-up, Jessica Harrington’s mare should prove difficult to beat if in the same sort of form.