Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's action including a NAP at Worcester.
KRACKEN POWER (best price 5-1) has been knocking at the door without managing to get his head in front so far this season, but following another solid performance in a warm five-furlong handicap at Redcar last time out, Iain Jardine’s gelding has a decent chance of adding to sole career win at Hamilton last year.
Runner-up to the in-form Mitrosonfire in a Class 3 event at Ripon previously, the three-year-old was well-supported to take advantage of a drop in grade at the Yorkshire venue three days later, but despite looking like he was going to justify his position in the market for a large portion of the race, he ultimately had to settle for a minor role. That said, because the time figure was so strong for the grade, it’s easy to why he couldn’t muster the necessary finishing kick racing over the minimum trip for the first time and now racing back under ideal conditions (6f and good-to-soft ground), the son of The Last Lion looks primed to go close.
MIX OF CLOVER (NAP) (best price 15-8) produced a career-high performance when landing a competitive handicap over today’s C&D and despite Alistair Ralph’s improving gelding being up against the in-form novice Castel Gandolfo, he rates a strong choice to repeat the dose.
Shaping as though the run would do him good after a 244-day layoff on his return to action over 2m4f at the Midland venue back in May, the son of Fair Mix was dropped down to the minimum trip when revisiting the same course a month later and as it turned out, the decision worked wonders for his end product. Always hard on the heels of a strong pace set by Man Of Light, the seven-year-old was actually one of the first horses off the bridle leaving the back straight, but once levelling up for home, he picked uo the running when the front runner shot his bolt and he stayed on extremely strongly all the way to the line. Ultimately winning with plenty to spare, the assessor was left with little choice but to raise him 10lb to his revised mark, but based on the time figure he clocked 15 days ago and comparing it to the one posted by the 0-140 handicap won by Mercian Prince, his new perch of 118 seems more than fair. Although he’s got plenty of form with some ease underfoot, good ground suits him best, so with the rain set to keep away until late this evening, conditions should remain perfect for him to produce his best.
TOM’S REIGN BEAU (best price 12-1) ran about as well as could be expected in a hot Class 4 contest at Redcar last time out and now given the opportunity to compete at a much lower level, Tim Easterby’s gelding appears way overpriced in his bid to take advantage.
Taking a couple of runs to find his feet this season following a gelding operation, the son of Brazen Beau was well backed at fancy odds despite seemingly facing a stiff task at the Yorkshire track 16 days ago and although he failed to trouble the judge, his performance still deserved plenty of merit. In what turned out to be an extremely strongly run one for the grade, to be only beaten three lengths in fourth wasn’t a bad return at all considering the strength of the race and with the winner going on to run a blinder in a much better contest at Haydock on Saturday, there’s every reason to believe this lightly-raced three-year-old will do his bit for the form.