Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings, including a NAP at York.
FLYING SOLO (NAP) (best price 11-2) looked a horse to keep on side based on his stylish success at Newbury last time out and even though he’s yet to step foot on today’s track – which is normally quite important – he’s fancied to confirm that impression in this concluding contest.
Slightly unfortunate not to add to his sole victory at Wolverhampton through the winter, David Menuisier’s gelding made his turf debut in what looked a competitive heat on paper and, having been held up towards the rear of the field early, he came through very strong late on to score in tidy fashion. Impressive though the win was on the eye at the time, with regards pure form and speed figures (quicker than Foxes Tales and Al Aasy from three out), the race has worked out even better than expected with the likes of Storting, Inchicore, Spirit Dancer and Mr Foy either winning or going on to run solid races since. Only up 4lb in the ratings despite everything about that win suggesting he should have been clobbered by the assessor, only the vagaries of the Knavesmire can prevent this progressive staying handicapper from living up to expectations.
BLUE WOOD (best price 10-1) has shaped like there’s a race in him on the evidence of his recent performances and now finally racing over what should turn out to be his optimum conditions here this afternoon, Johnny Feane’s gelding is taken to justify that belief.
Yet to win in nine starts, the five-year-old, however, has run some of his better races at today’s venue and today could be the day when everything slots into place. Fifth from a terrible draw over seven furlongs after a 250-day break on his first run for new connections, he shaped like the trip just found him out that day, and on his next outing at the Co Louth track, the minimum trip just found him on his head right from the start. Running better than his finishing position suggested in a well-run race for the grade on turf at the Curragh last time (travelled well), the son of Requinto now heads back to his favoured surface over what should turn out to be his ideal trip and from a good draw with man-of-the-moment Kevin Manning booked, he give a good account at the very least.
MR CURIOSITY (best price 7-2) ran with plenty of encouragement on his debut at Lingfield last time out and providing he can translate the sort of performance he managed 15 days ago to turf, Charlie Fellows’ gelding can go close to getting off the mark at the second time of asking.
In what looked strong race of its kind beforehand, the son of Frankel settled nicely in behind the sound pace and although he looked quite dangerous coming down the side of the hill before the home turn, he ultimately didn’t quite have the pace/knowhow to match the main players in the final two furlongs. That said, he did keep on well for fourth and with that initial experience unlikely to be lost on this well-made four-year-old, a big step forward in anticipated.