Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings.
WILLIAM OF WYKEHAM (best price 7-1) went along way to prove his current wellbeing with a pleasing effort on the Flat last time out and he rates a more than interesting contender back over hurdles at track where he ran well in defeat the last time he shipped up here last August.
On a roll last summer with back-to-back victories at Ballinrobe and Roscommon, Mark McNiff’s gelding was pitched into a much test in his bid for the hat trick and although he just came up a little short on the day, he did have the misfortune to bump into the very useful Décor Irlandais. Returning to action after a 165-day break at Gowran a month ago, the six-year-old chestnut was well-backed to take advantage of what appeared a fair mark of just 45 and although he ran well enough, he ended up being set too stiff a task in trying to give the useful four-year-old, Merrior, a big head start. On the plus side, at least that performance suggested he maintains most of his ability he showed last year and with plenty of ease in the ground also seen as a positive, yesterday’s rain gives the son of Arcano a big opportunity to regain the winning thread.
UISCE BEATHA (best price 5-1) has made mice progress as a chaser over the last few months and with the son of Yeats finding even further improvement on his return to three miles at Fairyhouse last time out, confidence is high he can record his most notable success to date.
Fifth in this race last season when trained by Joseph O’Brien, the eight-year-olds seems in a much better place than he did twelve months ago based on recent evidence and he has two wins under his belt since switching to his new yard to back up that theory. His first victory came after a 364-day break at Leopardstown over 2m1f and although he failed to add to his tally on his next two starts back at the Dublin venue, they were in two of the most competitive handicaps run at the track all season. Sent back up in trip in what looked a decent three-mile handicap at the Co Meath venue 35 days ago, Padraig Roche’s gelding dug really deep in what proved a proper test of stamina and with the likes of Rapid Response and Foxy Jacks both going on to boost the form at the Punchestown Festival since, his performance reads much better than it did at the time. Reunited with the excellent Simon Torrens, who is 2-3 on the horse, Uisce Beathe has enough quality to shrug aside top weight and he rates a decent each-way bet at the morning odds.
TWYCROSS WARRIOR (best price 13-2) shaped really promisingly after a long break at Warwick last time out and having been left on the same mark by the assessor, this consistent nine-year-old looks poised to take advantage now back over a more suitable trip.
Arriving at the Midland venue a month ago without a run for 410 days, it was difficult to know what to expect, but as it turned out, Robin Dickin’s gelding superseded any pre-race thoughts by travelling like the best horse for nine tenths of the journey. Leading down to the last 18 days ago, it was only at that point of the 2m3f trip when he began to tire and in the end he was just outstayed by course specialist Jaisalmer, who had a background of running over further. In the money in all of his six previous outings, including a victory over today’s trip at Uttoxeter at this time of year over two miles, the son of Cockney Rebel has all the attributes to go well at a track which last saw him finish a close-up third to useful sorts in the shape of Cardigan Bay and Apres Le Deluge. As he also acts on pretty much any ground, any rain during the day won’t harm his cause.