Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings.
A tricky handicap to solve, but it appears in-form Joseph O’Brien has a strong hand sending the likes of FAME AND ACCLAIM (best price 11-2), Never Forgotten and Dance Jupiter to post with solid claims and it’s the former who receives the slight nod on account of his appreciation of today’s C&D and possible fitness edge.
A three-time winner last season, the son of Acclamation shaped as though he badly needed the run on his first run for a while at Dundalk back in February and it was probably an outing that was intended to blow away the cobwebs for his big early-season target, the Irish Lincoln over today’s C&D. Sent off one of the outsiders in a 24-strong field, the four-year-old worked himself into a decent position at halfway after just dwelling slightly coming out of the stalls and although he couldn’t quite pick up and go with the main players in the latter stages, he keep on well enough to finish a creditable sixth on ground that wouldn’t have entirely suited. Back under better conditions on his return to the Co Kildare venue and likely to be well-primed with those two runs under his belt, he’s fancied to keep up the red-hot form of his Kilkenny handler and reward each-way support
The Owen Burrows yard has yet to fully kick into gear so far this season, but there’s a decent chance the Lambourn handler will have some positive vibes after MAWKEB (best price 9-2) has run here this evening.
The son of Kitten’s Joy just had the one start as a two-year-old and it was a run full of promise in a quite a hot maiden at Kempton towards the tail end of the season. Settled in midfield until the halfway point, the three-year-old colt found himself a little lost for a furlong or so as the tempo picked up markedly turning for home, but it was noticeable in the latter stages he began to realise what was required and he came home nicely to finish a creditable fifth behind several promising juveniles. So far this season, we have already see the second, third, sixth and seventh all come out and boost the form and with the likelihood of a good deal more to come now he’s had time to fill into his sizeable frame, it would be something of a disappointment if he wasn’t good enough to feature in a race of this nature.
Russian Virtue was a massive eye-catcher at Doncaster on his seasonal return and it’s easy to see why he’s such a short price, but whether he has as much in hand as the market suggests over JEAN BAPTISTE (best price 4-1) and the latter-named rates the solid each-way alternative.
A promising fourth in a competitive heat at Newcastle on his seasonal bow, the son of Invincible Spirit was expected to play a more prominent role back on the grass at Leicester last time out and although that turned out to be the case, he unfortunately bumped into a well-handicapped type in the shape of Mars Landing. He did, however, manage to post a pretty smart speed figure in his narrow-margin defeat and a repeat of something lose to that level of form should see him bang in the thick of the action once again.