Horse racing expert Andy Holding has five tips for today's meetings.
Ado McGuinness has gradually worked his way into a position whereby he gets to train horses of A CASE OF YOU’s (best price 5-2) class and the Co Dublin handler will find out whether he has a genuine Guineas contender in his care when he sends this exciting prospect to post in his first proper examination against some of the very best of his generation.
A winner of a barrier trial at Dundalk for John McConnell last July, the son of Hot Streak travelled like the best horse in the race on his debut at Bellewstown until he just got a little tired on the heavy ground over a mile and he got run out of the argument close home. Dropped back in trip for his next assignment at Down Royal, he went through the race with the same amount of swagger, but this time he had no trouble disposing of his rivals, showing a lovely turn of foot in the closing stages to win with plenty in hand. Rounding off his campaign with a success at Group 3 level with a victory over some useful sorts at the Curragh, he subsequently changed hands over the winter period to rest at his new base and on the evidence of his latest success at Dundalk recently, he looks as good as ever. The way he quickened up to beat two horses who have subsequently gone on to finish 1-2 in a decent race at Cork marked him down as a three-year-old of some promise and even though he has all the hallmarks of a classy sprinter in the making, he might just have enough in his locker to stretch out to seven-furlongs with fitness on his side.
DEQUALL (best price 5-1) ran out a pretty convincing winner over today’s track last time out and even though he’s set to race over a full half a mile shorter, he’s still fancied to put up a bold display.
A winner earlier in the campaign at Hexham, Stuart Coltherd’s gelding struggled in four subsequent starts, but a return to a better surface last time seemed to make all the difference and he ended up clocking quite a decent speed figure for the grade in defeating one of today’s opponents, Transpennine Star. On the basis it was the ground rather that the trip that helped him resurface as a force at this level, today’s identical conditions will hopefully bring about a similar result and at the morning odds, he appears a pretty safe each-way conveyance.
Jessica Harrington didn’t have much luck in the Grand National yesterday, losing her main hope Magic Of Light at an early stage, but with her attentions now focusing on events on the Flat, the Co Kildare handler can get back in the limelight with the talented LOCH LEIN (best price 9-2) in this Guineas trial.
In the frame on her first two starts – latterly in a maiden which worked out incredibly well at the Curragh – the daughter of Invincible Spirit was sent to Cork for her final outing of the campaign and on the first time she encountered a genuinely quick surface, she created an everlasting impression. Always to the fore at the Co Mallow track, she gradually wound up the pace from halfway and by the time she worked her way down to the furlong pole, she’s opened up an unassailable lead. Not only impressing visually 214 days ago, her time figure was right up there with some of the better numbers clocked by a juvenile over six-furlongs last season, so if she can just harness all of her natural speed over today’s extra furlong, she should be capable of a bold display from the favourable inside gate.
JOHNNY B (best price 8-1) managed to split two very smart staying novices at Chepstow last time out and a repeat of a similar level of form should see him go very close to shedding his maiden tag.
Nothing special between the flags, Chris Down’s gelding has proved a much different proposition since going to professional ranks and all four of his performances to date have been sprinkled with promise. On the latest of those displays, the son of Famous Name went hard all the way down to the last in a strongly-run three-mile event at the Welsh track 17 days ago and it’s only when you crunch the numbers to realise how good the race in question was. On the final circuit, the first three home all finished way ahead of the very useful Galice Macalo using the split screen method when comparing one race against another and if you consider Jane Williams’ inmate was racing over a mile shorter and is rated 131, it just puts into perspective how good Major Dundee and Co were on the day. Arriving here off a mark of just 110 when you take Joe Anderson’s claim into account, the seven-year-old really ought to be going close in a much weaker event to the one he contested last time and his morning price looks to be a total mismatch compared to all known facts.