Horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's racing, including a 2pt NAP at Fontwell.
CRYPTO (best price 4-1) hasn’t quite lived up to the promise of his bumper win when trained by Micky Hammond, but he did run with a good deal more encouragement in quite a useful novice hurdle at Lingfield when last seen back in November and with the strong possibility of improvement to come over with that initial run under his belt, he rates the one most likely to cause the favourite an issue or two.
Scruffy over his hurdles when making his debut in his new discipline at Ludlow last February, we had to wait 257 days to see the son of Gold Well again and although he only managed to fill out the same finishing position, he did more than enough to offer hope for the future. In being the only one to try and hassle the strong favourite at the Surrey venue, Take Your Time, for the lead, Venetia Williams’ gelding paid for those exertions in the closing stages but at least he did keep on well without forfeiting too much ground after the last and as the time figure was pretty good, it has to go down as a fair effort. Given an opening mark of just 112, connections would surely have had higher aspirations of the seven-year-old than that sort of rating when they acquired him two years ago and he can go close providing his in-form handler with another winner (three at Leicester yesterday).
BELLE DE MANECH (NAP) (best price 6-4) has displayed a fair level of form in bumpers and over hurdles and arriving here following convincing victory in a useful mares’ event at Wincanton last time, Anthony Honeyball’s inmate can continue her steady climb up the ranks.
A winner on her debut at Warwick last season, she subsequently suffered several reversals which rather derailed her progress, but she appears to have captured her mojo on the evidence of her last time starts and hurdles seems to have been the making of her of late. Looking as though in need of the run first time up at Wincanton, she returned to the West Country venue with a good deal of purpose a month later, making virtually all the running to lower the colours of several well-regarded mares. Furthermore, the time figure of the race in question was one of the fastest on the card and with the third home, Fontaine Collonges, doing the form no harm at Leicester yesterday, confidence is high that the daughter of Vision D’Etat can fly the flag for the same race 19 days ago.