Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has seven tips for today's action.
MANDOOB (best price 6-1) maybe the least experienced of the five runners, but he’s also the one with the most untapped potential and this laid-back type can prove he’s equal to the task on his stiffest task to date.
As we all know, Brian Meehan’s isn’t usually associated with first-time-out winners, so that fact this son of Farhh managed to buck the trend - and in such impressive fashion - on his debut marked him down as a seriously smart prospect. Sent to Haydock next time for his first experience of the grass, he was made to work a good deal harder than the market suggested, but one again, he produced a performance of some significance on the clock and it was pretty clear of the evidence of that display he was ready for something more substantial in terms of class. Of what we’ve seen of him so far is a willing attitude and plenty of stamina in equal measures and providing he comes through today’s examination with flying colours, he looks just the type who could enter calculations for the St Leger later in the season.
There may be more high profile horse in this quality juvenile contest than ASYMMETRIC (best price 12-1), but a nice bit of winning C&D form could turn out to be a small advantage over his rivals and because of that theory, Alan King’s youngster is fancied to more than hold his own in his first try at Group level.
Well-touted prior to his debut at Goodwood, the son of Showcasing found a nice turn of foot in the latter stages after travelling best throughout and with the time figure and subsequent form of those beaten that day strong, it was little surprise to see him long odds on to supplement those gains at HQ next time. In a much slower run race 20 days ago, his ability to quicken once again proved the key factor and the way he strode up the hill for a comfortable victory bodes well for today. Of those who ran at Royal Ascot, Project Dante was arguably the most eye-catching and as he shaped as though an extra furlong wouldn’t do him any harm. Bryan Smart’s colt looks the one to beat on balance of his overall form.
As ever, this three-year-old, six-furlong handicap will take some winning, but there’s a decent chance that both AKKERINGA (best price 12-1) and ADBUCTION (best price 14-1) can feature prominently based on their previous achievements.
The former sneaks in here down the foot of the handicap thanks to an impressive C&D victory last time out and the mere fact that he’s one of the few runners in the field to have had the experience of racing over the July has to be seen as a plus. Moreover, the way he hit the line here 14 was in the style of a horse who has more to give and with the theory of him having done well to come out of that competitive contest with a mark of 80, Stuart Williams’ gelding rates a very tempting each-way proposition at the morning odds.
The latter hasn’t had the chance to run in one of these big heritage handicaps yet, but what he does have in spades, is useful form over a stiff six-furlongs three times over. Indeed, one of those performances came last time out on his seasonal return against the older horses at Pontefract a couple of weeks ago and even though he probably needed the run, he was still good enough to finish off his race to good effect. Form-wise, the race at the Yorkshire couldn’t be any stronger with the third and ninth winning subsequent and with the likelihood of more to come now he’s had a run under his belt, Richard Fahey’s gelding cam take his game to another level.
SMILE OF LOVE (best price 3-1) ran with plenty of encouragement on her debut in a useful contest at the Curragh and it would come as a bitter disappointment if she doesn’t build on that solid foundation and be more competitive second time around.
Well-backed prior to kick-off at the Co Kildare venue, Ger Lyons’ filly was in a reasonable enough position as the runners joined the round track, but from that juncture, things went rapidly downhill for the newcomer. Bidding to go for a run up the far side rail, the daughter of Tamayuz got stopped in her tracks and although she made a bold attempt to make up some of the lost leeway inside the final furlong, a never-nearer fifth was the best she could salvage from the wreckage. Whether she would have won that evening is a moot point, but either way, it was clear to see all the ability in the world was there in an abundance and she’s strongly fancied to press home that viewpoint despite having overcome a tricky wide draw.
The ratings very dictate how some of these pattern races are priced up and while the numbers are usually a fair guide in most instances, when it comes to fillies and mares at this time of year, there’s always scope for thinking outside the box on potential improvers. Two who fall into that category here are FORBEARANCE (best price 14-1) and TASHI (best price 33-1) and as they looked to have been seriously underestimated in the market, they are both worth playing against the field.
The former may have only landed a handicap last time out, but she did it the style of a rapidly-improving filly and if the time figure is any guide, connections are fully justified in pitching their charge straight into pattern company. She also seemed to really appreciate the step up in trip and based on her pedigree and way she hit the line 34 days ago, she should stay even further.
The latter only won a maiden at Tipperary last time, but similarly, she also clocked a smart time figure for the race-type and considering she did so being slowly away and, up against three-year-old colts, her performance deserved massively upgrading. Looking at her make-up, the inability to break on terms is a concern, but there’s little doubt she has enough quality to feature in a race of this nature based on what she achieved at the Limerick Junction venue and at the morning odds, she’s worth a small shy at the stumps in the hope she doesn’t give too much ground away at the start for once.