Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meetings, including a NAP at Clonmel.
The race won by Gypsy Island at Tipperary recently was noted for its strong speed figure and with the form of the contest working out as well as the numbers suggested, fourth-placed AUBRETIA (NAP) (best price 15-8) is strongly fancied to fly the flag for aplomb in this much weaker heat.
A faller on her debut over hurdles at Navan last September, Colm Murphy’s mare wasted little time getting back on the bike and she went on to run a huge race when runner-up to the 125-rated Kapard on her next start at Roscommon a few weeks later. Off the track for 220 days, she returned to action at the Limerick Junction venue up against one of the best mares in Ireland and although she ended up getting beaten a fair distance, it was largely due to the fact she was the only one who tried to match strides with the front pair during the final circuit of the strongly-run affair. Of today’s opponents, only Mahlers Dollar has any reasonable form to shout home about, but as she is fairly exposed and hasn’t run since January, the daughter of Poet’s Voice should have a vital fitness edge over her main market rival. Either way, the early morning quotes look all out of whack and Aubretia should be supported in the way her current wellbeing deserves.
The recent run by ANDALEEP (best price 12-1) at York didn’t exactly get you jumping up and down with excitement for next time, but that was his first run of the season, and it might pay to ignore that below-par effort and pay closer attention to the fact he returns to the scene of three of his career-best displays.
Runner-up on his first visit to the Esher venue last August, the five-year-old duly went one place better when returning to the same C&D 20 days later and for good measure he followed up the following month off a 13lb higher rating than when he started his good run of form. Not seen out since finishing a creditable third on the all-weather at Kempton, Graeme McPherson’s gelding was bound to need the run in what turned out to be a competitive and well-run contest on the Knavesmire and although there’s still half a chance he might need a run or two more to get him somewhere near to peak fitness, at 14-1, the chance is taken he comes back to life sooner than expected now back at his happy hunting ground.
GREYSTOKE (best price 11-1) has been properly in the deep end with regards to high-end three-year-old handicaps on his last two starts and now with his sights lowered significantly here this afternoon, Mick Channon’s colt has a better chance than his odds suggest of returning to winning ways.
A dual scorer back in April on surfaces which suited his action, it’s noticeable his last two blips have come on soft ground and when you also take into account they have come in two incredibly strongly run races, it’s easy to see why he probably hasn’t been able to trouble the judge. His latest performance, for instance, he was up against two progressive three-year-old stayers who quickened really well given the underfoot conditions and prior to that encounter, he faced the likes of Bay Bridge and King Frankel in the much-vaunted London Gold Cup at Newbury. With the greatest respect to today’s field, he faces nothing of that calibre on this occasion and with favoured fast ground back into the equation, the son of Sixties Icon should be back in his element.
19:10 Newton Abbot
GETAWAY TRUMP (best price 2-1) is normally associated with better class races than the one he faces today, so without being too disrespectful to his four opponents, he really ought to be capturing a race of this nature if anywhere near peak fitness.
Although he wouldn’t have won at Aintree last time out when falling at the last, the fact he carried top weight with great distinction tells us plenty about his class and it also proved he’s just as effective in a big field. Indeed, most of his better efforts in the past have come when he’s been able to boss small fields, largely on good ground, so today’s task should prove right up his street. The mere fact he’s out at this time of year strongly suggest Paul Nicholls has him in a good place after a 64-day break and with the pace likely to be fairly strong courtesy of Tikkinthebox in the line-up, he should have the race set up to suit his run style.