Horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meeting, including a NAP running at Newbury.
HERBIERS (best price 9-4) (NAP) has shown massive improvement since switching his attentions to hurdles and hailing from a stable that are enjoying a really good spell at the moment, Oliver Greenall’s gelding can hopefully continue the good work for the Cheshire handler.
A winner on the Flat in his native France, the son of Waldpark failed to set the world alight on his first start for new connections but that initial disappointment was soon banished by stepping up his game to chase home the smart Fiveandtwenty in a decent juvenile heat at Musselburgh. Carrying plenty of belief forward to his latest outing at Hereford, he continued his progression with a powerful staying performance in what turned out to be a well-run affair and with his likeable attitude and stamina attributes that usually prove vital components in these four-year-old affairs, he makes more appeal than most.
SONG OF THE HUNTER (best price 5-2) was unlucky to bump into a well-handicapped horse in the shape of Orkan at Warwick last time out but at the same time, it was a more than an encouraging start for his new set-up and he can carry that optimism forward to today’s contest and go one place better.
A previous winner for Gail Haywood, the son of Network was nicely backed to make a winning debut for Johnny Farrelly at the Midland track 18 days ago and although came up a little short in his bid to justify the money in his direction, he did more than enough to suggest there’s plenty of mileage left in the theory that he’s sure to win more races further down the line. Indeed, the speed figure and final lap sectionals from that well-run affair point towards the race being a very good one for the grade and with today’s better ground far more suitable than the gluepot he faced on that occasion, another positive display looks highly likely.
There aren’t too many races at tonight’s venue over two miles, so punters are guessing whether some of the participants will get the trip, but that’s not the case where CONSTRUCT (best price 4-1) is concerned and the only C&D winner in the field can put his confirmed stamina to good use and follow up his latest victory 98 days ago.
Placed in three straight handicaps over 1m4f, the son of Maxios finally got his due rewards for his consistency when upped in trip back in November and the fact he managed to outstay the likes of Bold Approach and Blue Shadow in the process, says a good deal about his overall progression. Given plenty of time to recover from those exertions early in the winter campaign, this big, scopey unit will hopefully return to action in the sort of shape that will allow to run somewhere close to his best and with a decent amateur pilot booked, confidence is high John McConnell’s gelding can hit the frame at the very least.
AGGY WITH IT (best price 3-1) couldn’t have been any more impressive in the manner of her victory in a jumper’s bumper at Kempton last time out and with conditions absolutely ideal for Dan Skelton’s mare on her return to hurdles, she has more than a fair chance of upsetting the hot favourite, Fantastic Lady.
A dual winner in the Autumn at Market Rasen and Taunton on genuine good ground, the daughter of Presenting came unstuck on her first attempt on a proper soft surface at Cheltenham back in December and quite rightly, connections decided to pull the plug on her campaign until drier conditions returned in the spring. Using her latest outing as a prep for some pressing engagements ahead, the seven-year-old was held up towards the rear with a view to pouncing late and such was the ease in which she picked her rivals off in the straight, she could be afforded the luxury of being eased down close home. Clearly a mare right on top of her game based on that sparkling display at the Sunbury venue, another cool and calculated ride can reap maximum rewards.