Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's racing.
RUN FOR OSCAR (best price 8-1) has talent and quirks in equal measures but with the former trait coming to the fore more often than not, Charles Byrnes’ gelding has every chance of backing up his recent victory at Killarney.
Other than one disappointing performance at the Galway Festival, the six-year-old has been pretty consistent in many top-quality handicaps and after a much better effort next time at Downpatrick, he finally gained his due rewards at the Co Kerry venue three weeks later. Sporting the visor for the first-time, the son of Oscar raced fairly generously throughout and despite his pilot losing an iron in between the final two flights and having a spook around on the run-in, he had enough left in the locker to repel the late rally of Line Out. Clearly suited by a step up in trip and tight, left-handed track 35 days ago, today’s layout on good ground should prove ideal and given his overall record in the National Hunt sphere of three wins and six placed efforts in 11 starts, he rates a confident each-way pick.
NEW YORK CITY (best price 33-1) arrives here the only maiden in the field but, with the sneaky suspicion that Aidan O’Brien’s colt bumped into a potentially top-class filly in the shape of Red Lacewing at Naas last time out, there’s more than a fair chance today’s task, stiff though it might be, isn’t so pie-in-the-sky as it seems at first glance.
Slow away and too green for his own good on his debut at Dundalk earlier this month, the son of Invincible Spirit went into his latest assignment on turf with a degree of confidence attached to his chance and although he couldn’t quite get the job done, his performances levels went up several notches. Settling nicely off incredibly strong fractions set by Orinoco River, he had little trouble holding his position over five furlongs and when asked to quicken up inside the final furlong, he went toe to toe with eventual winner. Time-wise, the race at the Co Kildare venue was exceptionally fast for a maiden and with the potential to improve now stepping back up in trip, it would come as no surprise to see him run better than his morning odds suggest.
16:30 Market Rasen
INGLEBY HOLLOW (best price 5-1) was a shade unfortunate not to land the big summer hurdle here back in July and following two equally harrowing near misses since switching to his current connections, there would be no more worthy winner than Rebecca Menzies’ gelding on his return visit to the Lincolnshire venue.
Sent off a 33-1 outsider in that competitive 15-strong handicap, the seven-year-old still had plenty left on his plate as the field turned for home, but his finishing effort was such that he a manged to latch himself onto the coat tails of the main players at the business and, if it wasn’t for running into a cul-de-sac close home, he may have prevailed. A win on the Flat provided the nine-year-old with some compensation but he’s been an unlucky not to add to his tally since and his latest effort when runner-up at Cartmel highlights his plight. Despite running a big time figure, he couldn’t quite
overhaul track specialist Alqamar in the closing stages, but at least the form has taken a boost since with the third, Beeno, winning well at Perth in midweek. Clearly in the form of his life despite his advancing years, there’s no reason why the son of Beat Hollow won’t run his usual solid race and with dead eight runners due to go to post, he rates the percentage each-way call.
NIGEL NOTT (best price 3-1) ran pretty well over a trip that was always likely to stretch his stamina here last time out, but now back over six furlongs and, just as importantly down to Class 4 company for the first time in nearly two years, Michael Appelby’s gelding has a golden opportunity to record his first win for quite some time.
Since landing his second career start over today’s track back in 2020, the son of Dutch Art has by and large always run up to a fair standard at the Essex venue and his last three runs epitomise his levels of consistency from both a form and time figure perspective. Not able to reel back three subsequent winners after a slow start here in July, the five-year-old just found five-furlongs too short on his return visit two months later and then the opposite occurred here last time when the experiment of seven furlongs backfired. That said, he was by no means disgraced in a very strongly run affair and with the way seemingly paved open with one of his main market rivals, Crimson Sand, missing the gig, it would be deemed slightly disappointing if he failed to take advantage.