After picking up two winners from three selections yesterday, Andy Holding is back with four tips for today's racing.
REGAL RELALITY (best price 4-1) is most definitely on the back nine of his career nowadays, but as he proved last time out, he’s still more than capable of mixing it with the very best and returning to the scene of some of his best previous performances, Sir Michael Stoute’s inmate can roll back the years.
Having his first start for 178-days in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot, the son of Intello was quietly fancied to go well against many in-form performers, some nearly half his age, and although he failed in his bid to make the frame, he still came out of the race with great credit. Finding himself in a poor tactical position turning for home, the seven-year-old didn’t get the clearest of runs inside the last two furlongs, but that didn’t stop him making some notable inroads into the main players once seeing a bit of daylight late on. Not beaten too far in two of the last three renewals of the Group 1 Coral Eclipse, a return to the Esher venue should see him more competitive than his morning odds imply.
HYPERFOCUS (best price 5-2) ran an extraordinary race from a bad draw at Chester last time out and having gone well at today’s track on numerous occasions in the past, Tim Easterly’s gelding makes plenty of appeal to gain compensation for his Herculean effort on the Roodee.
Drawn 11 of the 11 runners 20 days ago, you could have forgiven connections if they had chosen to withdrawn the son of Intense Focus and waited for another day, but the decision to let him take his chance almost reaped maximum rewards. Breaking extremely alertly from his outside post, the eight-year-old soon established a clear advantage and even though he was headed over a furlong out, he somehow managed to find extra reserves to rally strongly all the way to the line. Only denied by the late thrust of Ballyare, his time figure in defeat, however, pointed towards him running a career high and with the form of his previous third at Hamilton also stacking up favourable since, a repeat of either two performances are likely to make him extremely hard to beat at Class 4 level.
LOUDEST WHISPER (best price 5-1) is by no means a prolific winner, but she does seem to save all her best performances for tonight’s tight, left-handed track and with an enviable record at the Meath venue of 333221333, the daughter of Maxios rates a solid choice to hit the frame again at the very least.
In-keeping with her trends, Ed Delany’s mare managed a podium finish on her first outing of the season over tonight’s course back in April and she’s since gone on to run three creditable races in defeat since. Runner-up over hurdles at Punchestown two starts ago, the seven-year-old filled out the same position when chasing home the in-form Wild Shot at Down Royal back on the Flat three weeks later and with that latest effort bringing one of the best recent form lines to the party, it would be a head scratcher if she doesn’t go close to adding to her impressive tally of results back at her happy hunting ground.
GOLDEN APOLLO (NAP) (best price 5-2), has yet to run in Class 5 race, such is the company he’s been keeping on a regular basis for the last five seasons and following an eye-catching display in an extremely competitive contest at Pontefract earlier in the week, Tim Easterly’s gelding looks poised to strike.
It’s fair to say it’s been a while between drinks for the son of Pivotal, September 2019 being his last success, but when you consider he’s been taking part in some of the very best sprint handicaps the calendar has to offer in the intervening period, it’s little wonder he’s found life hard to get his head back in front. However, his latest effort at the Yorkshire track was his most encouraging run for a long time – coming from a long way back to finish never-nearer fifth – and now dropping to a mark which makes him eligible for tonight’s relatively modest contest in comparison, it would be a disappointment to all concerned if he doesn’t shake a leg at this level.