Andy Holding is back with three tips for today's racing.
There was a lot to like about the way MITIVA (best price 9-4) shaped on her hurdling debut at Cork and with today’s race nowhere near as competitive as the numbers suggest, Liz Doyle’s filly can show the benefit of that initial outing wasn’t lost on her.
Quite impressive when making a winning rules debut in a bumper at Thurles back in February, the daughter of Motivator was subsequently snapped up by JP McManus to join his ranks and on the evidence of what we witnessed at the Mallow venue earlier in the month, she already looks like a good bit of business. Quite novicey over her obstacles early, as a result, she found herself towards the rear of midfield leaving the back straight 22 days ago, but to her ultimate credit, she stuck willingly to the task in the latter stages to end up finishing a never-nearer third. The way she hit the line boded well for the future and providing her technique has been improving in the interim (which is ironic because connections said she jumped like a cat at home prior to making a winning debut), the four-year-old capture a race of this nature.
INGLEBY HOLLOW (best price 5-1) maybe the old man of today’s party, but there’s a doubt whether any of his five rivals could have finished fourth in a Swinton Hurdle and for that reason, David O’Meara’s gelding is fancied to show his younger counterparts a thing or two.
A good winner at Doncaster back in November, the 10-year-old missed out most of the winter with a view to returning to action on better ground and since that 125-day break, he’s put together three performances of the highest quality. Fourth in a hugely-competitive heat at Haydock two starts ago, the son of Beat Hollow ran close to a career best on his return to the Merseyside venue a month later and with the fifth home out of that race, Anna Bunina, already proving the form of the contest is strong, he’s expected to follow suit in this much weaker event.
BELLE JOUR (best price 7-2) took a big step forward on his first start over fences when fitted with the first-time visor here last time out and with today’s extra yardage likely to see him in even better light, Chris Gordon’s gelding can finally get off the mark.
Well-backed at the Sussex track, the seven-year-old was held up well off the pace in the early stages and despite coming home to good effect in the final half a mile, he could never land a discernible blow. However, the time figure of the race suggested it wasn’t a bad effort by the son of Presenting, and with the winner going on to prove that point with a subsequent victory at Ffos Las yesterday, and today’s similar race on paper should find him one of the chief players if running to the same level.