Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's meetings.
Good ground and three miles really brought the best out in AQUILA SKY (best price 8-1) at Doncaster last time out and with similar conditions set fair for today’s Scottish venue, there’s more than a decent chance Sam Allwood’s gelding can mix it in against this slightly higher grade.
Outpaced before keeping on in the closing stages over two miles behind subsequent winner Nigfhtboattoclyro at the same track in December, the son of Arcadio shaped well on his first effort beyond the minimum trip at Ludlow three months later, once again doing all his best work late on. Up another three furlongs on Town Moor 12 days later, the six-year-old prove too strong for his six opponents in the final half a mile and in beating a field that contained subsequent winner, Quick Draw, he ended up posting a very useful set of numbers for the grade. Not only did he clock the fastest hurdle time on the card, his final circuit sectionals worked out better than the likes of Topofthecotswolds and Onemorefortheroad, who were rated much higher and were racing over significantly shorter. Based on those findings, this tall, rangy chasing type may have done quite well to come out of that contest just 7lb higher in the ratings and with a lightly raced profile to suggest he may improve again, he rates a fairly enticing proposition at his morning odds.
Judged by recent results, Alan King’s jumps team appear to be thriving with a bit of Spring sun on their backs and with one of those being MAJOR DUNDEE (best price 7-1) based on his recent success at Chepstow, the Barbury Castle handler has a fair chance of adding to this week’s impressive haul.
Promising when runner-up on his first two starts this season, the six-year-old took a backwards step on his first outing in handicap company at Kempton in February next time out, fading out of contention in the latter stages after being too keen for his own good during the first mile of the contest. Stepped up to three miles for the first time at the Welsh venue for his latest encounter, the son of Scorpion settled much better and in doing so, he ended up posting a career high performance. Very strong in the latter stages of a well-run affair, he dished out a proper beating to the previously impressive Broken Halo and even though he has to shoulder top weight here this afternoon, a positive outcome will hopefully be forthcoming.