Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meetings, including a NAP at Haydock.
IMPEACHD ALEXANDER (best price 2-1) shaped with a huge amount of promise on her debut here 21 days ago and she’s fancied to take the expected step forward into a more prominent role on her return visit.
Very slow away and green during the early stages at the Co Mallow track, as a result, Jessica Harrington’s filly found herself in last place and a good ten or so lengths off the pace set by strong favourite Amalfi Coast. From halfway onwards, however, the daughter of Starspangledbanner really began to come to terms with what was required and by the line, she was going on as strongly as anything in the field. In-keeping with how many of her stable’s juveniles have performed so far this season, one can anticipate a totally different model second time around and providing she breaks on terms and gives herself a better opportunity of winning, hopefully she can grasp the chance with both hands.
As first-time out winners from the Brian Meehan yard are pretty rare, it’s usually best to upgrade the ones who manage to buck that trend and MANDOOB (best price 3-1) looks the type to keep on side considering the high level of achievement of his debut success at Lingfield.
Despite being up against two who had shown smart early-season form, the son of Farhh came in for some shrewd support at biggish odds and for those who took the plunge on this first-time-out gelding, they ended up gaining maximum rewards. In what turned out to be a very strongly run affair set by Al Nufed, he had to be ridden along to maintain his position at the top of the hill, but in staying on best of all once rounding the home turn, he gathered up the front runner, and the other Godolphin-trained three-year-old to end up winning going away. Based on that evidence, Mandoob is clearly a strong stayer at the trip and having been given plenty of time to recover from those exertions two months ago, he should be just about spot on to roll the dice again.
The feature of the maiden won by Quarantine Dream over today’s straight course a month ago was the extremely fast time figure and with the race in question working out as well as the numbers suggested they might, LONDON ROYAL (best price 11-4) should easily be capable of playing a prominent role having shaped well on his debut.
Sent off 25-1 for his opening bow 33 days ago, not too much was expected of Ted Walsh’s gelding up against many with solid previous experience, so for him to feature as well as he did, has to go down as an above-average effort. Indeed, had he known a little more, there’s a fair chance he may have obtained a podium finish and considering the main player were knocking out backend fractions quicker than the listed race won by Measure Of Magic, it just puts into perspective what he faced on the day and how well he performed. Shaping as though an extra furlong wouldn’t go amiss too, today’s step up in trip has to be seen as a plus and with the favourite, Stalingrad wearing thin the patience of his most loyalist of fans, the son of Territories rates the value call.
HIGHWAYGREY (NAP) (best price 2-1) had to go down as a pretty unlucky loser of the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar on his latest outing and he’s strongly fancied to put matters straight back at a track where he’s gone particularly well in the past (only two poor runs in four starts came on un-favoured soft ground).
Dropped out towards the rear at the Yorkshire venue, Tim Easterby’s gelding still had plenty left on his plate as the field swept past the four-furlong pole and from that point onwards till pretty much inside the final furlong, he failed to get anything like a clear run. Finishing to good effect down the outside, the left the impression he would have gone very close to winning had he been able to start his run earlier, but it was a performance that strongly suggests he remains in top form. Prior to that unfortunate episode, the son of Dick Turpin had made light work of a small field at Doncaster, once again produced to a nicety, and with today’s contest likely to represent a similar set up for his pilot, David Allen, to try and execute, hopefully he can be delivered just at the right time.