Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's racing, including two runners at Newmarket & two at York.
The withdrawal of favourite Albaflora has thrown this Group 3 fillies’ contest wide open and even though SEA LA ROSA (best price 8-1) has a bit to find according to the official ratings, William Haggas’ inmate may have the necessary levels of improvement to bridge the supposed gap.
Working her way through the ranks since winning a fairly low-level novice event at Chepstwo on her season return, the daughter of Sea The Stars arrives here having recorded her best performance so far to date and the manner of victory at Doncaster strongly suggests there could be even more to come. Striking the front going easily on Town Moor, the three-year-old chestnut left the impression she was idling in the lead for the majority of the final furlong, so factoring that theory into the equation, it puts even more weight behind the fact she still managed to run a big speed figure despite not being full extended. Clearly a strong stayer at the trip, today’s likely decent pace should suit and with fast ground also no problem either, everything looks set fair to easily outrun her odds.
There’s no denying Master Of The Sea’s Guineas effort gives him an obvious chance of going one place better but he’s been off the track for 145 days and in any case, some of the older horses have equally solid credentials based on the pick of their form and of those, LANEQASH (best price 6-1) stands out as being the bet at the morning odds.
Sent off a short-priced favourite to land last season’s Horris Hill at Newbury, Roger Varian’s colt ended up proving a bitter disappointment but the one thing we learnt about him that day was he simply couldn’t lift a leg on soft ground. Although he went into his latest encounter at Doncaster with the best recent form, the son of Cable Bay was extremely uneasy in the market on account of rain-softened ground and as it transpired, those who fielded against him reap the benefits as he once again failed to run to his best. Prior to that backward step, the three-year-old had posted a career high effort when chasing home the hugely impressive winner, Sacred, in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury and it’s that form which gives him more than a fighting chance here this afternoon. The feature of the contest at the Berkshire venue was the brutal pace set by trail-blazing Nando Parrado – resulting in an extremely strong speed figure - and given how Laneqash finished off his race, you would be confident to suggest he’d stay an extra furlong. More importantly to him, however, is the state of today’s ground and with yesterday’s times suggesting conditions are drying up all the time at HQ, this talented individual finally has his chance to shine.
EMARATY HERO (best price 7-4) was a shade disappointing when a beaten favourite at Haydock last time out, but now returning to the scene of his career-high performance the time before, Grant Tuer’s gelding is fancied to get back on track.
Extremely strong in the latter stages of his victory over 1m4f here a month ago, the son of Lope De Vega was fully expected to stay the extra yardage at the Merseyside venue 12 days ago and in what turned out to be a tactically run affair, he ended up getting done for a turn of foot by the eventual winner Goobinator. Clearly wanting to go a stride or two quicker that day, it wasn’t the trip that ended up being his undoing and with the likelihood of a much heathier pace in today’s contest with Notation and Dance To Paris in the line-up, the giant four-year-old should end up being back in his element.
TOPANTICIPATION (best price 5-2) has yet to get her head in front in 11 attempts, but she’s certainly been knocking at the door all season and a repeat of anywhere near the same level of form she showed over today’s C&D last time out and there’s more than a fair chance Harry Eustace’s filly can finally shed the maiden tag.
Too free to do herself justice on soft ground at Goodwood two starts ago, the daughter of Mount Nelson was upped significantly in trip on the Knavesmire two months later and even though she didn’t quite manage to take home the main prize, her effort based on the figures was by far and away her best so far to date. In what turned out to be an extremely strongly run race for the grade, she was only just outstayed by the mammoth Emaraty Hero in the final half a mile (runs an hour earlier), but with the pair well clear of the rest, the form looks very solid. Back on better ground over a track she ran well on her first start as a juvenile, the three-year-old filly can more than hold her own off a similar mark.