Horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings, including a 2pt NAP at Leicester.
ASHDALE BOB (best price 9-2) may not have the flamboyant nature or sexy profiles as some of his market rivals but what he does have, is easily some the best form lines recorded over this trip so far this season and he’s fancied to stamp his no-nonsense approach on his seven rivals.
A disappointment on his final start last season, Jessica Harrington’s gelding began this term in what appeared to be a very strong maiden hurdle at Navan and having travelled well throughout, he stayed on strongly to dispose of a quartet who have gone on to boost the form in a major way since. Despite the strength of that race at the Co Meath venue, he returned to the scene of the performance as one of the outsiders in a field of seven, but his position in the market didn’t make any difference to the result as he turned in an equally dominate display in a well-contested Grade 2 that contained the likes of strong favourite, Holymacapony, and the highly-regarded Fighter Allen. What’s also worth pointing, he ran a much faster time than the race won by Bob Olinger over the same C&D to the tune of 14 seconds, so based on that fact, he rates a much more solid option of the pair at the morning odds.
As well as highlighting the absurdly short price of Bob Olinger in comparison to Ashdale Bob, there’s also a strong case to be made that FLANKING MANEUVER (best price 12-1) deserves a good deal more respect than he’s afforded in the morning markets and he makes plenty of appeal as a solid each-way option away from those clogging up the front end.
Similar to Ashdale Bob, his early season form lines also look very strong and his victory over Folcano and Gloire D’Athon at Fairyhouse last time out very much suggested he belongs on a bigger stage – certainly based on his time figure. Better suited by the rhythm of the 2m4f at the Co Meath venue than the dash to the line he had with subsequent winner Percy Warner at Navan the time before, the son of Beat Hollow has the sort of cruising speed that should enable him to go deep into business of a race of this nature.
The form of No Risk De Flos’s victory at Uttoxeter when last seen received a huge dent when runner-up, Mont Segur, got battered at Wetherby yesterday, so Olly Murphy’s inmate may not necessary be the good thing he looks according to the early morning lists up against the talented mare FONTAINE COLLONGES (NAP) (best price 6-4).
A dual bumper winner last season, Venetia Williams’ six-year-old returned to action after a 309-day absence to contest what appeared an above-average mares’ affair at Wincanton a month ago and she ended up running extremely well in a very strongly-run race. Eventual winner, Belle De Manech made sure the pace was honest right from the start and even though the daughter of Saddler Maker kept up with the gallop all the way to the line, she also left the impression she may require a stiffer test further down the line. Although connections have decided to keep her to the minimum trip, today’s heavy ground and long, uphill pulled from the bottom of the home straight should ensure she receives a better test of stamina and she’s fancied to take advantage of all the allowances handed to her being one of three mares in the line-up.