Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings.
HOTTER THAN HELL (best price 7-2) has failed to score in six attempts this season, but in mitigation, she has been running at a pretty high level and with today’s contest easily her weakest one she’s faced so far to date, Alan King’s mare can hopefully take full advantage on ground that will suit.
Aimed at the final of the challenger series for mares at Haydock earlier this month, the daughter of No Risk At All came away from that competitive affair with her head held high after finishing a creditable third and that’s not the first time she has acquitted herself with distinction in a race of that nature. Go back to her second run of the campaign and she filled out the same position in an ultra-hot mares’ only event at Wincanton and when you consider the likes of Eglantine Du Seuil, Molly Ollys Wishes, Fleur Irlandaise and Midnightreflection have all gone on to much better things since, it just goes to show the standard she ran to at the West Country venue. Down into Class 4 company for the first time since finishing runner-up on her seasonal return at Southwell, one would like to think she has enough quality to hold her own at this level and at the morning odds, she qualifies as a decent bet.
A decent field assembled for this listed prize for novices’ and it’s one that CASTLE RUSHEN (best price 7-2) should be capable of advertising his skills in.
Winner of his first two starts over hurdles at Ayr this season, including one over 2m4f, Nicky Richards’ gelding was pitched into Grade 2 company at Kelso on his latest start and although he couldn’t quite go with the likes of My Drogo and Do Your Job in the closing stages, he kept on well enough in the final half a mile to finish a respectable third. On the evidence of his display at the Borders venue, the son of Fame And Glory shaped like he’s crying out for further and with his pedigree also suggesting today’s ground will play into his strengths, he makes plenty of appeal at the morning odds.
FRANCKY DU BERLAIS (best price 3-1) is a chaser very much on the upward curve based on recent events and even though Peter Bowen’s gelding hasn’t been seen out since scoring at Exeter back in January, a chance is taken that his qualities allow him to still come to the fore.
Runner up on his three previous starts before shipping up at the Haldon Hill track, the son of Saint Des Saints always travelled like he was going to oblige and when asked to go and win his race after the second last, he found the necessary requirements off the bridle to hold his challengers at bay. Since that victory 101 days ago, the likes of Brianstorm, Le Milos, Éclair Surf, and in particular, One More Fleurie have all advertised the form and time figure of the race in question and having also won off a long absence at Newton Abbot at the beginning of the campaign, the fact that he comes here fresh can be viewed a s a positive.