Andy Holding has five tips to start the week, including a NAP at Musselburgh.
- Andy Holding has five selections for today's racing at Musselburgh, Ludlow, Dundalk and Kempton.
- Andy is currently 190.22pts in profit for 2020.
CREMANT (NAP) (best price 3-1) gained his due rewards for a series of fine placed efforts when scoring in game fashion at Stratford last time out and with similar conditions looking set fair at today’s Scottish venue, Neil Mulholland’s gelding has a decent chance of making the long trip up from Wiltshire worthwhile.
A point-to-point winner when trained by Colin Bowe in Ireland, the son of Getaway has been largely consistent since arriving on these shores and on the evidence of what occurred at the Midland venue 15 days ago, he’s clearly been waiting for a strong test a just beyond two-miles to bring out the best in him. In particular, the final circuit of that well-run 2m2f contest was noticeable strong compared to the other three hurdle races on the same card and with similar conditions here this afternoon also very important to his level of performance, the six-year-old looks sure to give another solid account.
VOLCANO (best price 11-4) had little chance of living with the likes of the 157-rated William Henry and Diomede Des Mottes (130) at Hereford last time out, but at the same time, he did shape quite well to finish a respectable third and he looks on a dangerous mark now taking a massive step down in class. A promising second in a novices’ handicap on his first start over fences, Shelia Lewis’ grey looked like a step up in trip might bring about further improvement and based on his effort at the Midland venue 13 days ago, that option was well and truly vindicated. Providing he can negotiate these tricky fences (the ones in the home straight seem to be claiming quite a few victims of late) hopefully the first-time cheekpieces can focus his attention and provide his in-form handler with another winner.
Shakleton Hero, including a barrier trial, has run well three times at today’s track and thoroughly deserves to be favourite on account of all of those efforts, but on the same token, he’s been chalked up accordingly whereas CURSORY EXAM (best price 9-2) has been slightly dismissed despite having just as compelling claims.
On the fringes of the action in maidens and nurseries on the turf, Gerard O’Leary’s gelding lined-up up here for the first time after a 51-day break to contest another viciously-competitive handicap and he went on to record his best ever performance by chasing home the impressive winner, Going Global. Time figure-wise, the race in question 12 days ago turned out very good for the grade and with the pair puling well clear of the rest (four lengths back to the third), a run of a similar standard should ensure he visits the unsaddling enclosure with some sort of medal around his neck.
Indefatigable sets a big standard courtesy of her Cheltenham festival victory last season and following a blowout on the Flat at Lingfield last time, she should be hard to beat. That said, she hasn’t been missed in the market and with the dead-eight runners set to go to post, a more tempting proposition is to play GETAWAYTOTHEROCK (best price 5-1) each-way at the respective morning odds.
Although she does have plenty to find on the official ratings, Alastair Ralph’s mare arrives here in tremendous shape following her convincing victory over the very smart Dolcita at Hereford last time out and on the evidence of that display, she looks as though she has improved from last season. Forcefully ridden when the pace slackened, stamina turned out to be her trump card at the Midland venue and with today’s step up to three miles likely to suit this former point winner, the daughter of Getaway makes more appeal than most.
Jackmel is the only one with any recent winning form, which tells you all you need to know about this modest concluding handicap, but as all his best form is over trips shorter than today’s he’s passed over in favour of MS THOMPSON (best price 11-2), whose best effort so far to date came over the C&D last time out.
Always towards the rear when outpaced over seven-furlongs on her first visit to the Co Lough venue, Sheila Lavery’s filly was tried over today’s trip for the first time 10 days ago and that decision produced an instant improvement. Once again towards the rear early, she made good headway in the latter stages of a well-run affair to finish just in behind the front pair and with the runner-up, Happaugue, given the form a solid feel to the race, she should be capable of effecting today’s result in some way if she can perform to a similar level.