Andy Holding has six selections for today's racing, including a 2pt NAP at Lingfield.
12:20 Market Rasen
MAC TOTTIE (best price 10-3) returned to form with a vengeance when winning an ultra-competitive novices’ handicap here last time out and with today’s contest appearing a good deal easier, in the sense he’s not taking on any unexposed types, Peter Bowen’s gelding can go well again at a track he clearly enjoys.
Runner-up in decent novices’ hurdle at the Lincolnshire venue back in 2018, the son of Midnight Legend subsequently went on a run that saw him capture four races in the space of five months, but that was the last we saw of him in the winners’ enclosure until 17 days ago. Hard to fancy on his return visit following three modest runs over fences, the eight-year-old came roaring back to his best with an altogether more polished display and with the numbers he posted strongly hinting he’d run something close to a personal best, a repeat should ensure he’s hard to beat.
MINX TIARA (best price 13-2) turned in a dominant display at Limerick last time out and with conditions likely to be pretty arduous based on the evidence of what we witnessed here earlier in the week, David O’Brien’s mare will be happier than most slogging her way through the soup.
Looking badly in need of the run first time out this season over today’s course, the daughter of Doyen got into a lovely rhythm at the Greenmount Park venue 21 days ago and it was clear to see from someway out she was going to do a number of her opponents. Pulling effortlessly clear in the closing stages, she ended up clocking quite a useful time figure despite the testing conditions and despite today’s line-up presenting her with a much sterner test, she’s fancied to prove equal to the task.
DUTUGAMUNU (NAP) (best price 5-2) posted a very smart speed figure for the grade when landing a similar C&D handicap last time out and with the tongue-tie/cheekpiece combination once again in operation, Richard Spencer’s gelding is fancied to repeat the dose.
Unsuccessful in four previous starts, the Ivawood gelding was freshened up and tried in headgear for the first time when arriving at the Surrey venue a month ago and having travelled well in rear off a strong pace, he came swooping to conqueror in the home straight to score going away. Looking at the stride data available via the ATR website, his average stride length of 26.72 was easily the best on the card, so providing Paul Mulrennan can organise his mount in a position where by he can get into top gear down the straight, the four-year-old chestnut is likely to have too many guns for this sort of opposition.
A wide-open renewal of this Grade 2 prize and although there will be many who arrive here with sexy and compelling profiles, MINT CONDITIONS’ (best price 11-1) body of work under testing conditions mean he will have a thicker stomach lining when push comes to shove than most.
Back-to-back victories at Bangor on his first two starts of the campaign meant he went to Aintree a warm order to complete the hat trick and if it wasn’t for a bad mistake at the third last when going well, he may have achieved the feat. Normal services were resumed with a smooth success at Wetherby last time out when he made light work of a bunch of hardened handicapper’s and with all of his best work coming under pretty testing conditions, the son of Black Sam Bellamy looks set to outrun his morning odds.
15:15 Market Rasen
The mere fact Willie Mullins is prepared to go through all paraphernalia to get Grangee over to run in this race is a big hint towards her prospects, but with stern challengers from the home guard, most notably MERRY MISTRESS (best price 4-1), the Irish raider may not have things all her own way.
Tom Symonds’ mare made her debut in a decent-looking race for the track standards at Hereford a month ago and having settled nicely and travelled well through the early exchanges, she came through strongly towards the backend of a well-run affair to score with plenty in hand. Clocking a smart speed figure for a race of its nature, it’s already good to see the form take a big boost with the runner-up, Ballybough Mary, winning readily since and hailing from a yard who continue to show no signs of stopping in recent week, the daughter of Getaway looks the one to be with in the with and without the favourite markets.