Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has four tips for today's action, including a NAP at Kempton.
16:40 Gowran Park
As we saw in both Cesarewitch’s either side of the Irish Sea recently, horses based at National Hunt stables tend to come to the fore in races of this nature at this time of year when stamina is at a premium, so with that in mind, AUTUMN EVENING (best price 5-1) and WOLF PRINCE (best price 6-1) are fancied to put their recent over hurdles to good use back on the Flat.
The former was a fairly useful juvenile from last season and after having a nice prep run on the Flat at Tramore back in August, Jessica Harrington’s gelding struck oil when he landed the Lartigue Hurdle a month later. In what looked a very competitive contest at the Co Kerry venue, the son of Tamayuz proved very strong in the latter stages to pull clear of his field and with his revised mark now heading north of 130, a return to today’s discipline off a considerably lower rating should see him go well on ground that will suit.
The latter also arrives here following a recent victory over timber and even though it was only a three-runner affair at Punchestown, it still went some way to advertise his current wellbeing. Runner-up in a competitive handicap at the Listowel Festival previously, Gavin Cromwell’s gelding had far too many guns for the useful Dysart Diamond at the Co Kildare venue and having also got plenty of decent form on the Flat safely tucked under his belt, including one creditable effort over today’s C&D, the son of Pour Moi makes plenty of appeal at his morning odds.
17:15 Gowran Park
DUTCH SHULTZ (best price 5-1) has probably been bought with a hurdles campaign in mind by current connections, but he still could have something to offer on the Flat until then and on the evidence of his Irish debut at the Galway festival, today’s looks a good opportunity for him to prove that theory correct.
Placed twice in useful UK maidens for Ralph Beckett, the Golden Horn gelding had a long period off the track to acclimatise to his new surroundings and it wasn’t until July when we saw him again. Pithced into a white-hot maiden at Ballybrit that contained the likes of Zero Ten, Ciel D’Afrique, Anner Castel, and Duffle Coat to name but a few, Gavin Cromwell’s inmate came out of the race with great credit in finishing on the coat tails of the main players and following that solid effort, he has been handed what appears a reasonable handicap mark of 73. Yet to race on anything other than soft ground in his three runs so far to date, the lightly-raced three-year-old will be well-suited to today’s conditions that most and hailing from a yard in terrific form at present, he will hopefully prove good enough to make the frame at the very least.
BOOKMARK (NAP) (best price 11-2) never really got a chance to engage top gear at Chester last time out, but hopefully tonight’s gallop will be suitable enough to allow her to run to the sort level she showed at the same track two starts ago.
A steady improver since stepped up in trip, Michael Bell’s filly first sprung to prominence when she landed a maiden handicap at Pontefract by no less than 17 lengths and even though that victory looked incredible good on the eye, she actually went and bettered than performance next time on the Roodee. Held up right out the back in what turned out to be a very strongly run race for the grade, the daughter of New Approach came through powerfully in the latter stages to win going away and with the likes of the second, fourth and seventh all going on to boost the form since, it was easy to see why she was a fairly warm order to follow up in her return visit later in the month. Unfortunately for her and her legion of supporters, the race was run in a totally different fashion and in what basically became a sprint to the line from the home turn, she could never get herself into a position where she was challenging for the major honours. In the circumstances, finishing where she did was about as good as she could have expected but now likely to face a much sterner test given the amount of possible front runners there are in the field, the progressive three-year-old has the credentials to prove she is much better than her current mark suggests. Although she may turn out to be best on turf and has never run at tonight’s track, she has been chalked up at a sufficiently big enough price to still make her a reasonably solid each-way proposition and she deserves to be played accordingly.