Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has five tips for today's action, including a NAP at Salisbury.
DASHING ROGER (best price 6-1) has proven on more than several occasions he’s a pretty useful handicapper when soft ground conditions are the order of the day and following a career-high victory at Sandown last time out, he’s fancied to repeat the dose.
Not quite so effective over 1m2f at Newmarket previously, William Stone’s gelding dropped back to his optimum trip at the Esher track 27 days ago and after a receiving a fairly positive ride, he ended up winning in pretty impressive style. Additionally, on top of the fastest furlong-per-furlong time on the six race card, the four-year-old also managed to run the last four furlongs quicker than the Group 3 performers in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes and with that useful turn of foot he has likely to be a handy card to play in the latter stages of today’s contest, the son of Fast Company can continue to defy the handicapper.
MASTER MILLINER (NAP) (best price 5-2) posted some healthy numbers for the grade when landing a similar prize over today’s C&D last time out and there appears no obvious reason to desert Emma Lavelle’s gelding on his return visit.
Winner of four of his last six races, the five-year-old chestnut began this season where he left off the last by landing a two-mile handicap at Goodwood and he duly followed up when taking a drop back in distance in his stride here four weeks later. In what turned out to be a very strongly run affair at the Wiltshire venue, the son of Helmet’s stamina proved the determining factor and with himself and the second, Single, puling miles clear of the rest, there’s no reason to question the strength of the form. Indeed, the runner-up went on to run a blinder in the Queen Alexander against horses rated in the 100+ bracket and with similar conditions to what he encountered 25 days ago in place, now is not the time to desert this improving stayer.
There’s a good chance No More Porter has a bit more to give on the evidence of his victory at the Curragh last time out, but the same can be said about SCREEN SIREN (best price 5-1) and WHITE LAVENDER (best price 7-1) based on their recent performances in a hot race at Cork last time and the percentage call is to play the pair against the field in this decent-looking three-year-old sprint handicap.
The former had run with great encouragement over the same C&D the time before, so she carried a decent amount of confidence going into that 0-86 fillies’ contest and as events transpired, she confirmed that impression with an authoritative victory. Slowly away, the daughter of Slade Power made up the lost ground to race handy in behind the speed and then once giving the license to go and win her race inside the final furlong, she needed no second invitation to seal the deal. In clocking a smart time figure for the grade, her backend sectionals also compared favourably with the listed race won by the rapidly-improving Logo Hunter, and with the fifth home, Chocquinto, going on to advertise the form at Down Royal over the weekend, there’s a decent chance the three-year-old filly will fly the flag with distinction for the same race.
The latter was only having her second race at the Mallow venue 14 days ago, so her performance given the numbers for the contest has to go down as a pretty commendable effort. Indeed, had she been better positioned throughout the well-run affair she would have no doubt been an even bigger factor (drawn highest of all in stall 11 of 11) and having proven her suitability to a stiff five-and-half furlongs at Navan on her debut, today’s similar test should be right up her street.
PARTY HOUSE (best price 11-2) came out of her latest encounter against two smart colts with a huge amount of credit and now racing back at the scene which saw her make a sparkling winning debut, Ger Lyons’ filly receives a confident vote to score at pattern level back in her own sex.
Unraced as a two-year-old, the daughter of Camelot had been given time to fill into her substantial frame and that patience certainly paid off at the first time of asking when she came from some way off the pace to win going away. In claiming some notable scalps at the Co Kildare venue, she also posted a useful speed figure for a race of its kind and with connections taking the view she was good enough to go up several levels into listed company at just the second attempt, the market went with her at Navan a month later. For majority of the 1m5f journey it looked like she was going to just the support in her direction, but as it turned out, the combination of inexperience (ran green once meeting the rising ground inside the final furlong) and the extra distance just found her out in the closing stages and she ended up having to play a minor role. Given 39 days to recover from that stern examination, Party House should have gathered enough knowledge to be much more switched on this time around and in a race where she stands out as having the most scope amongst the field, she makes plenty of appeal at the morning odds.