Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has five tips for today's action, including three running at Curragh and two at Chelmsford.
EL TREN (best price 15-2) shaped a little better than his final finishing position suggested in a decent lady rider event over today’s C&D last time out and with that effort likely to have served the purpose of preparing him perfectly for today’s contest, the veteran can show the young bucks a thing or two at a track where he’s enjoyed a good bit of success in the past.
Very much the senior citizen of today’s field, Aidan Howard’s 10-year-old has been fairly lightly raced in the last two seasons, and with connections clearly not wanting to be hard on the old boy, his performances, as a result, have been by and large pretty decent. Two victories in five starts last term was a solid return and with one of those success coming at time of year over today’s C&D, it’s clear he likes a wide open galloping track. Indeed, the son of Danehill Dancer was winning that very same ladies race for the second season in succession and although he failed in his bid to complete the hat trick a few weeks ago, he still ran well enough to warrant a small interest on his return visit. Well down the pack as the field turned for home, he came home strongly despite racing up the un-favoured inside rail and with the form of the race working well since with the likes of Moon Racer, Line Out and Excelcius all winning since, El Tren is anything but a forlorn hope here this afternoon.
CHACHA DANCER (best price 6-1) has shaped like she requires further than 1m2f on each of her last four starts, so despite stall 18 being a proper pain in the backside, she’s still worthy of a small interest.
A strong finisher in the first-time visor at Navan back in July, the daughter of Gutaifan produced a copy and paste performance at Leopardstown next time out in a return to cheekpieces when finishing with a powerful punch from the back of the field in a similar 1m2f handicap. Back to the Co Meath venue next time and she may have gone close to winning but for being short of room late on and then on her latest visit eight days ago she came from miles off the pace to finish a never-nearer second to the more prominently ridden Dha Leath. Reunited with Robert Whearty, who has created a very favourable impression not only on this filly but several other rides he’s had of late, hopefully the young apprentice can get his mount into a position whereby her finishing kick is utilised to maximum effect.
Of those at bigger odds, OUT ON FRIDAY (best price 11-1) is worth more than just a passing glance based on his performance in a red-hot lady amateur rider race 18 days ago. Setting strong fractions from the start at the Co Kildare track, it came as no real surprise that the five-year-old couldn’t quite maintain the unrelenting pace all the way to the line, but even so, his fourth-place finish was still a commendable effort in the circumstances, especially when you take into account of who well the race has worked out since. So far, three participants have all won on their next start, including Line Out in the Irish Cesarewitch and that news is no real surprise either as the backend sectionals by the main players was on-par with Group 3 winner Search For A Song. Therefore, providing today’s pilot, Wesley Joyce is a little more conservative with his pace distribution, hopefully the son of Masterofthehorse can hang on a for a little longer and outrun his 20-1 quotes.
COPPERKNOB (best price 7-2) shaped with conspicuous promise on only his fourth career start at Kempton last time out and with the way he finished his race off over seven-furlongs lending itself to the school of thought he would appreciate racing over further, Gary Moore’s gelding can take high rank in this opening 1m2f contest.
Sympathetically ridden on his third start at Brighton, his improved performance that day meant he went into his latest outing with an opening handicap mark of 70, and based on how he performed at the Sunbury venue, his assessment looks exploitable. Towards the rear as the field turned for home nine days ago, the son of Churchill picked up really eye-catchingly in the final two furlongs and given how hard he hit the line, it’s not unrealistic to suggest he would have won with another furlong to race. Whether an extra three furlongs is the answer only time will tell, but either way, he’s likely to be ridden with a view to pouncing late and he’s worth chancing those tactics can be executed.
BILLY MILL (best price 7-2) produced a career-high effort on the figures despite not quite managing to get his head in front at Wolverhampton last time out and Richard Hannon’s gelding rates a strong choice to make amends from his favourable inside draw.
In what turned out to be a very strongly run race for the grade at the Dunstall Park track, the son of Adaay came home well down the middle of the course to grab a decent slice of the pie late on and as the time figure of the race in question was no some way the best on the card, his performance off a 75-day break has to go down as an extremely commendable one. Likely to be all the better for that outing, the lightly-raced three-year-old can go a long way to maintaining his impressive all-weather stats of 122.