13:50 Ripon

The Alice Haynes trained SMART CONNECTION (best priced at 6/4) ran well to finish 2nd at Ayr a week ago and should prove hard to beat off the same mark. The five-year-old has been in good form since joining this stable last year with three wins off marks of 51, 56 and 61 and a further three placed efforts.

Smart Connection finished 2nd at Ayr a week ago when sent off favourite off a mark of 64 but the pair pulled 3 lengths of the third and that rival and the fourth Wickywickywheels boosted that form with a 1-2 at Hamilton yesterday. The handicapper has raised Smart Connections 2lbs since his last run but he gets to run off his old mark so he should prove hard to beat from 2lbs “well in” at the weights.  

Smart Connection - 1pt @ 6/4

14:00 Yarmouth

John & Thady Gosden hold a strong hand in this maiden but I feel the market is underestimating the chances of their ‘second string’ BALTIC BIRD (best priced at 5/1). The son of Frankel stepped forward from a below par debut at Leicester to finish a close 2nd at Haydock on his latest start last month. He finished only a head behind the Godolphin colt New Comedy with his stablemate Highland Frolic a further 1 ¼ lengths behind in third.

The market favours Highland Frolic to reverse the form with his stablemate but the presence of Benoit De La Sayette now claiming 5lbs off Baltic Bird just swings it in the favour of him in this race. 

Baltic Bird - 0.5pts e/w @ 5/1


The William Haggas stable remain in fantastic form with a 41% strike rate in the last two weeks and I think this looks a good opportunity for JUST WONDER (best priced at 5/4) to get off the mark on his reappearance. The son of Siyouni ran with credit on all three of his starts last season but looked the type who probably needed the winter to grow into his frame.

Just Wonder has an official mark of 78 which sets the standard in this maiden and I expect him to get off the mark at the fourth attempt.

Just Wonder - 1pt @ 5/4