Horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meetings.
Byford impressed on his return to action at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago and he might turn out to be the best of this field in the long run, but he faces no easy task against several who have run big numbers over today’s C&D and one of those, CRIMEWAVE (best price 2-1), might just have enough knowhow to get the better of his younger upstart on this occasion.
Since returning to action after a summer break, Tom Clover’s gelding has been in sparkling form on four starts during the all-weather season and he finally gained his due reward for a series of fine placed efforts with a smooth success here last time out. Held up in midfield 28 days ago, the five-year-old was noted going well in behind a strong pace and then when brought wide with his challenge down the home straight, he found a nice change of gear to pull readily clear of his rivals. Clocking a big speed figure in the process, the son of Teofilo is clearly at his best when the gallop is an honest one, so providing, as anticipated, Charlie Arthur goes off at a reasonable pace, he should have a similar set up in order for his strengths to be fully exploited.
MIDNIGHREFERENDUM (best price 9-4) has been plying her trade at a fair level since switching her attentions to fences and Alan King’s mare looks sure to put up another bold show with a clear round of jumping in this listed prize.
A smooth winner first time off the bat at Fontwell earlier in the campaign, the daughter of Midnight Legend hasn’t managed to add to her tally in three subsequent starts but her last two performances when she’s stayed on her feet read well in the context of today’s race. She never missed a beat and was just unlucky on the day to outpointed by the useful Zambella at Warwick two starts ago and she would have finished much closer at Doncaster last time out had she got badly interfered by a falling rival at the third last. The way she travels through her races and her stout pedigree on the dam’s side strongly suggest she will be equally effective over today’s three-mile journey and having already beaten Pink Legend and the favourite, Momella, coming from a yard struggling for winners at present, today’s contest does appear a decent opportunity for her to strike.
NEVER MISTABEAT (best price 7-2) tore apart a field similar to this on his latest outing here 37 days ago and providing the blinkers have the desired effect for the second time of asking, Jarlath Fahey’s gelding looks to have a gilt-edged opportunity to prove his first career victory was no fluke.
Said to be quite a lazy type by his trainer, the son of Elzaam didn’t respond as well as anticipated for cheekpieces on his first two starts at the Co Lough venue, so a change of headgear was introduced a month ago and the results were nothing short of spectacular. Pinged out of the gates from his wide draw, the four-year-old was soon travelling well in the hands of Wayne Lordan and then when unleashed with his challenging effort with two furlongs to run, he powered clear of his toiling rivals to score by five lengths. Not only did he manage to clock a much faster speed figure than the second division of the 1m2f handicap that day, which contained one of today’ rivals, Pineapple Express, his furlong-per-furlong time worked out to be the quickest on the eight-race card and considering how strong he was at the business end, one would like to think he should have no problem with today’s step up in trip. Not too badly drawn this afternoon, the longer run to the first bend should help his pilot get into a nice position just on the shoulders of the leaders and if, as anticipated, he’s still moving sweetly turning for home, his useful turn of foot for the grade should enable him to seal the deal.
FLYIN’ SOLO (best price 4-1) showed a big improvement for his first outing to the second when scoring with plenty in hand over tonight’s C&D and even though he faces several three-year-olds – mainly Raise The Roof – who also have exhibited a degree of promise, David Menuisier’s gelding is strongly fancied to make the frame at the very least.
Down the field when running green over a mile on his debut at Kempton, the son of Roderic O’Connor was surprisingly well backed prior to the off on his first visit to the Dunstall Park venue but as it turned out, the money in his direction proved spot on as he came through late from off the pace to score with plenty in hand. Still a little clueless early, the four-year-old impressed with how he learnt on the job during the course of what turned out to be quite a well-run affair and such was his dominance at the finish, he actually had time to prick his ears and have a good gawp around at all the bright lights inside the final furlong. Clearly capable of a good deal more, it would be disappointing if he doesn’t put up a bold display on his return to the Midland track despite having to give away the thick end of two stone away to most of his rivals (surely it’s time for the three-to-four-year-old weight-for-age scale to be adjusted in line with most other categories).