Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's meetings.
TECUMSEH SHERMAN (best price 5-1) had little chance of coping with the short-priced, Willie Mullins-trained favourite Statuaire here last time out, but considering that was his first outing for 530 days, it wasn’t a bad effort in the circumstance and providing he’s come out of that race in full working order, he can go well again at a track that he clearly enjoys.
Fifth in a bumper on his first visit to today’s unique, undulating track, Pat Martin’s gelding only had to wait two more starts before getting his head in front and since that victory, he’s run to a pretty high standard by hitting the frame on all three outings. Clearly the son of King’s Theatre has had his issues in between times, but on the evidence of his performance 23 days ago, he seemed as good as ever. Holding every chance after travelling well for the first two miles of the journey, the nine-year-old couldn’t match the turn of foot showed by the winner, but despite getting a little tired after the last, he kept on well enough to finish a creditable second. Moreover, as the time figure of the race was extremely good, it puts more emphasis on how well he performed and with today’s better ground likely to suit him more ideally, he’s fancied to figure prominently for a yard who had a nice winner here yesterday.
It’s hard to judge COUSIN HARRY (best price 17-8) on his only other previous start at today’s track because he simply wasn’t in the same shape as he is at present, but as he seems to running to a pretty high standard in the last few months, he’s worth keeping on side until the evidence suggests otherwise.
A cosy winner at Navan back in March, Philip Rothwell’s gelding took part in two of the toughest and most competitive handicaps run at both the Fairyhouse and Punchestown festivals since, so to come out the other side with a creditable sixth at the former venue and a game victory at the latter, is testimony to his levels of improvement throughout the season. Backing up his previous effort with another solid performance back at the Co Kildare venue last time (got badly hampered on the home turn), here appears to be holding his form together quite nicely and with today’s contest considered a peg or two down from what he’s been facing of late, it would be disappointing if he wasn’t capable of going close.