After picking up one winner and one place yesterday, Andy Holding is back with five tips for today's racing.
You’ve got to admire how A Case Of You has been handled by connections and he’s proven that he’s just as effective over six-furlongs as he is the minimum trip with his latest victory in the Al Quoz sprint over in Dubai. However, he does face a serious rival in the shape of the rapidly-improving POWER UNDER ME (best price 3/1) and, at the morning odds, Ger Lyons’ gelding rates the percentage each-way call.
Beaten by his old rival at Naas last season, had he not challenged on the unfavourable inside of the track that day it may have been a different story and since that sound effort, the son of Mehmas has continued to progress. Other than one disappointing effort on ground way too quick for his liking at The Curragh in September, he never put in a bad shift and as we saw on his seasonal reappearance at Cork a month ago, he looks as good as ever. In what looked anything but a listed race on paper, the four-year-old saw out the trip well once headed over a furlong out and with the likes of Mooneista, Twilight Spinner, and Logo Hunter well beaten and all going on to run well since, the form appears as good as the speed figure suggested it might turn out to be. Although fully effective on good ground, the more dig underfoot the better, and with plenty of solid form over today’s C&D safely tucked away under his belt, a massive run looks on the cards from this likeable and game sort.
CALLING THE WIND (best price 13/2) is undoubtedly better over further than today’s trip, but he’s also no dummy over 1m4f either – especially with plenty give underfoot – and with an all-important run under his courtesy of a pipe-opener at Doncaster two months ago, Richard Hughes’ gelding can more than hold his own against the likes of Lone Eagle and Third Realm.
A gallant runner-up in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot last season, the six-year-old soon gained his due rewards with a victory over today’s course in the second longest race in the calendar and he went on to prove his versatility when only marginally touched off over 1m4f at Newbury next time.
Third in what turned out to be a vintage Cesarewitch on the figures at Newmarket was bettered with another solid performance in the November Handicap on his final start of the campaign and after such a series of hard-knocking efforts in some of the best handicaps of the campaign, he was fully entitled to a long holiday. As expected, the son of Authorized was just a little ring-rusty on his first outing for 141-days on Town Moor last time, but at the same time, it was more than a satisfactory start to his season and even though he will no doubts have some of the better staying contests in his range finder later in the term, he can still throw a few decent shapes in today’s assignment.
JUSTCALLMEPETE (NAP) (best price 9/4) left the impression he had a whole pile more to offer had he not suffered interference at a crucial stage at Ascot last time out and James Evans’ gelding rates a strong choice to justify that viewpoint in what appears to be a much weaker race on paper.
Undone by a bad draw at Windsor previously, the son of Bated Breath was a warm order to make amends at the Berkshire venue 15 days ago, but unfortunately for his legion of supporters, he ran into more trouble than you’d meet on your average Friday rush hour traffic on the M25. Although it’s impossible to say he would have won for sure, there’s every chance he would have had a huge say in the final outcome and with connections reaching out to grab the superb talent that is Benoit De La Sayette, the lightly-raced three-year-old is given another chance to prove he remains a well-handicapped horse.
FIACH MCHUGH (best price 11/4) was unlucky to bump into a horse who is a strong contender for Group 1 glory earlier on the card at Naas last time out, but with nothing seemingly of that kind of calibre to face here this afternoon, Andrew Slattery’s gelding is fancied to appreciate considerably calmer waters.
Often the benefactor of his own undoing by being a little too keen in his races as a two-year-old, the son of Belardo was subsequently gelded during the winter with a view to calming him down and on the evidence of his comeback victory at Dundalk in April, he seemed to have taken the operation well. Back on grass and up in trip at the Co Kildare venue later in the month, he once again impressed with the way he travelled through the race and although he ultimately proven no match for the winner, he did pull well clear of the rest. Time-wise, the race in question 26 days ago was very good for the grade and with the assessor only airing on the side of caution with his revised mark, he should be equally competitive this time around.
MERCIAN HYMM (best price 5/2) shaped with plenty of promise for the remainder of the season with a decent comeback effort at Windsor last time out and with today’s extra yardage likely to play even ore into his strengths, Sir Mark Todd’s gelding can regain the winning theme.
Progressive towards the backend of last year with back-to-back victories on the all-weather, the son of Siyouni clearly came into his own over 1m4f, so even though he ran perfectly respectably after a 129-day layoff at the Berkshire venue, there was always a chance he might just come unstuck over a trip short of his best. That said, he still managed to run a career-high speed figure 26 days ago despite his defeat and with that performance also going a long way to proving he’s just as effective on grass as he is on the synthetics, the lightly-raced four-year-old can steer the ship back into the harbour for his supporters.