Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's meetings.
SILKEN PETALS (best price 9-4) is by far and away the most exposed of today’s field, but she does have the sort of experience – including a spin around here on debut – that can see her take advantage of the favoured inside stall.
For a horse having her sixth start at York last time out, she raced incredibly lazily in the first part of the contest, but once she bucked her ideas up by the halfway stage, she soon became the dominant force. Indeed, by the finish, she’s established clear daylight between herself and her rivals and she also ended up posting a very smart speed figure which complemented the visual impression of her success. Obviously, she’s going to have to break a good deal more alertly her this afternoon, especially as she’s up against a filly who showed bright speed in the Queen Mary last time out, but providing she keep tabs on her main market rival in the early exchanges, the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits is likely to prove the stronger where it matters most.
JUNIOR RATTLER (best price 3-1) has displayed his versatility over a range of trips in the last few months and following a gritty success at Punchestown last time out, another solid performance should be forthcoming from this consistent six-year-old.
A former pointer, it was interesting to note that connections persisted over the minimum trip with the son of Arakan throughout the early part of his career under rules and that patience was finally rewarded with a smooth success at Naas back in March. Surprisingly stepped up a full mile for his next two starts, he still ran well without winning, but he was soon back on track when racing over a more appropriate distance at the Co Kildare venue two months ago and it’s that piece of form that gives him an excellent chance here today. Not only was the pace very strong in that competitive handicap that day, the final circuit time completed by Oliver McKiernan’s gelding was by miles the best compared to the five hurdles races on the same card and with the runner-up going on to enhance the form at Galway this week, there’s a decent chance this in-form and likeable type will follow suit.
SACRED BRIDGE (best price 9-4) has looked one of the best juvenile sprinters seen in Ireland so far this season and she can force home that viewpoint despite taking on a smart and competitive line-up.
Well-touted and backed accordingly prior to her debut over today’s C&D, Ger Lyons’ filly managed to justify the hype despite running green in the closing stages and her performance has become even more significant as time has moved on largely thanks to the exploits of not only herself, but the runner-up (won Group 3 since). Sent to Tipperary when upped in class last time out, the daughter of Bated Breath had to cope with a drop down in trip and a pair who had the experience of racing at Royal Ascot previously and despite momentarily looking vulnerable two furlongs out, she came through strongly to ultimately win with a bit to spare. Clocking a very smart speed figure that day, she proved she’s a filly was a ton of class and with the now pressure off regards gaining valuable black-type, today becomes an exercise in chasing this very big pot on offer. Drawn towards the nearside fence on her return to the Co Kildare venue, she’s at least housed next to where all her main market rivals are situated and even though she faces no easy task up against the likes of strong UK raiders, Bosh and Ever Given, she’s still fancied to come out on top.
Of those at much bigger odds, Chestnutter has done more than enough to suggest there’s plenty of decent races to be won with her (unlucky at Leopardstown last time out) and it would come as no surprise if she were to gain a decent slice of the pie.
ROCK ON SEAMIE (best price 4-1) has really hit a rich vein of form in the last few months under both codes and with the latest of those efforts coming courtesy of a solid display over today’s course, Ray Hackett’s gelding is strongly fancied to go one place better on his return visit.
A three-time winner on the Flat, surprisingly the son of Lilbourne Lad hasn’t managed to match that feat over hurdle so far to date, but he’s certainly getting closer and his latest effort over today’s C&D, if repeated, will surely see him going close to fulfilling that goal. In what turned out to be a well-run affair at the Mallow track, the six-year-old came there holding every chance approaching the second last and although he kept on pretty well of 15 of his 16 opponents, he just found Ricky Bobby too strong in the closing stages. However, it’s been good to see the form work out so well since, with the third and eighth fighting out the finish of a Killarney handicap since and the fifth also finishing runner-up next time, and with him already proven over 1m5f on the Flat with his victory at Ballinrobe recently, today’s extra two furlongs shouldn’t prove a barrier to success for this in-form performer.
Having run well to finish fourth in the same race 24 days ago, General Clermont is another to consider for those wishing to seek one at more rewarding odds.