Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meetings, including a NAP at York.
BLUE CUP (NAP) (best price 11-4) left the impression he would have landed the City And Suburban with a bit to spare had he obtained anything like a clear run at Epsom last time out and he rates a strong fancy to back up that viewpoint at a track that should play a little more into his strengths.
Held up towards the rear at the Surrey venue, the pedestrian early pace meant David Menuisier’s gelding was fighting for his head and expending unnecessary but despite of this, he still managed to finish off his race with plenty of gusto. All dressed up with nowhere to go inside the final two furlongs, he way he hit the line suggested he would have won barring the troubled passage and even though backing unlucky losers such as him is normally a road to the poor house on a regular basis, he's afforded a little slack on that score. A progressive handicapper from last season, his Sandown last-to-first win was achieved in a big time figure and with today’s wide open spaces and likely decent pace set to suit, it would be disappointing if he doesn’t deliver the goods.
SOLENE LILYETTE (best price 7-1) posted a decent time figure for the grade when landing a maiden fillies’ contest at Limerick last time out and having come out of that useful event with her handicap mark pretty much intact, Andrew Slattery’s filly should end up being extremely competitive at a track where she’s gone well in the past.
Slightly disappointing for Dermot Weld, the daughter of Pivotal became an instant hit for new connections at the Greenmount Park venue 20 days ago when, despite being off the track for 180 days, she managed to make just about all the running for a gutsy success. Form-wise, the race in question has been given several boosts this week with the likes of Fictitious Lady and Amicable running well in defeat and it’s not as if she faces anything of any great quality her this afternoon. Moreover, she also managed to finish a close-up fourth behind the top-class filly Thundering Nights over today’s course last season and even a repeat of that form would give her big prospects here this afternoon.
FAIRMAC (best price 10-1) was a shade disappointing when failing to deliver the goods at a short price at Doncaster last time out, but the time figure of the race in question was so good for the grade, he’s afforded another chance.
Having run really well in a quality Class 3 handicap at the track the time before, it was easy to understand why he was such a warm order dropping down two grades on his return visit, but as it turned out, he ended up just getting run out of the argument close home by two stout stayers at the trip. Beaten but hopefully not broken by that loss, if anything today’s track should suit even better and at the morning prices, he’s worth a small each-way interest to prove that he remains fairly well treated.
MINELLACELEBRATION (best price 9-2) has form figures over today’s track that read 1211 so he rates the automatic choice arriving here following another solid effort at Uttoxeter last time out.
Although beaten fair and square at the Midland venue, he did impress with the way he travelled throughout and in any case, that technically was his first proper run since January as he’d previous got no further than the 11th in the Grand National. Although he has plenty of decent form on good ground, his ability to handle easier underfoot conditions will come in handy if it rains (forecast says it will) and hailing from a yard going well at present, he looks sure to give another good account with a clear round.