After picking up two winners from four selections yesterday, Andy Holding is back with seven tips for today's racing.
DOUBLE CHERRY (best price 7-2) won in the style of an improving stayer at Goodwood last time out and with conditions at today’s venue working out nicely in favour of Tom Ward’s inmate for the second time in succession, he’s strongly fancied to take another big step forward.
Running in his first handicap after several promising efforts in maidens, the son of Make Believe was well-backed to take advantage of an opening mark of 77 and having travelled well throughout what turned out to be a well-run affair, he stayed on strongly in the latter stages to justify his position in the market. Impressing with the way he got over the ground and pulled clear inside the final two furlongs, the lightly-raced three-year-old went on to post a very good speed figure for the grade and with the third home going on to do the form no harm next time out, confidence is high this progressive type can follow in a similar vein.
SINJAARI (best price 11-4) left the impression he was given way too much to do at Royal Ascot last time – partly due to his pilot sleepwalking through the first three quarters of the race – but now racing over a track that should play more into his strengths, he has the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways.
Clearly targeted at the Hunt Cup despite all his best previous form being over 1m2f, Harry & Roger Charlton’s gelding was switched off towards the nearside group at the Berkshire venue and although he easily came out best of 13 that were drawn high, never at any stage did he remotely look like he was going to be a factor. Whether it was just a pure misjudgement by Kieran Shoemark or we can forgive him on account of the perceived track bias, either way, there’s little doubt he should have finished a good deal closer than the final result suggested. Based on his closing splits 17 days ago, today’s trip is worth persisting with for the time being and providing he can be worked into a position whereby he’s within striking distance two out, nothing will be finishing stronger than the son of Camelot.
Running QUEEN AMINATU (best price 10-1) off a mark of just 82 in a race of this nature takes some explaining, but when the trainer responsible for the boldness is none other than William Haggas, the best policy is to just go along with his gut feeling.
A big improver on the all-weather during the Spring months, the daughter of Muhaarar was given a chance to show whether she was just as effective on the grass ay Haydock last time out at and although she ultimately failed in her bid to complete the hat trick, she left the impression was by some way the best filly on show. Trapped in a pocket with little room to manoeuvre, the three-year-old ended up seeing daylight until very late and with virtually no time at all to get back up to top speed, she flashed passed the line an agonising third. On the evidence of that display and her previous two performances at Lingfield, she looks for all the world as though a step up in trip will see her to even better advantage and with stable mate Sense of Duty having a similar profile before she
proved to be miles better than her rating (landed listed prize off a mark of 88), it wouldn’t come as the biggest shock on the planet if this lightly-raced filly were to follow suit.
Gaassee has been all the rage for this prize in the ante-post lists and no doubt given the form of his stable, he will continue to attract further support for the remainder of the day. Whether he’s the best 5-4 chance to ever grace the turf, though, is open to debate and for that reason, the percentage call is to look towards the likes of SECRET SHADOW (best price 8-1) and INCHICOR (best price 16-1) as viable each-way alternatives.
The former enjoyed a particularly fruitful spell towards the backend of last season – largely on a soft surface - and she didn’t look in too bad shape on her return to action at Goodwood recently. Having her first outing for 211 days at the Sussex venue, Andrew Balding’s filly loomed up looking a big threat at the two-furlong pole, but she couldn’t quite sustain her challenge all the way to the line and in the end she had to settle for a minor role behind two race-fit rivals. Not knocked about in any way by Hayley Turner, the kindness afforded to her that day is likely to reaped as the rest of the season progresses and with most of her best form coming with plenty of juice in the ground (form figures of 221113 when conditions have been good-to-soft or worse), the rain which has fallen in the last 48 hours will come as welcome news to her and connections.
The latter also likes to get her toe in the ground, so on that basis alone, she has to come into the conversation. Winner of the aforementioned Goodwood race on her latest outing, Alan King’s filly showed good battling qualities in the latter stages to get up close home and with the time figure suggesting it was a decent race of its kind, there’s no reason to question the form. Having proven himself a dab hand with stayers in recent times, hope is high this daughter of Galileo can keep that trend going in the right direction for the Barbury Castle handler.
The weights and measures suggest SUPERIOR FORCE (best price 20-1) has very little chance of competing on a level playing field with today’s opposition, but there was a lot to like about the way he shaped on his first start for new connections over today’s course last time out and at the prices, he’s worth a small interest to see if the assessor has him all wrong.
A dual winner for George Boughey in the UK, it’s noticeable that soft ground was responsible for his best of those two victories at Nottingham on the turf and when you consider he needed a proper test at a mile that day, he was always likely to struggle over two furlongs shorter on his first run for 190 days. He did, however, finish off his race in pleasing style from two out and with that run likely to have brought him forward nicely in terms of conditioning, early morning odds of 40-1 look a little out of whack with his prospects of improving significantly on that initial display.
GAELIC ARC (best price 7-1) posted a useful time on the clock when scoring in decisive fashion at Clonmel last time out and with the potential of more to come, John Ryan’s gelding is taken to feature heavily in his first attempt at a big-field handicap.
Good enough to finish third to American Mike in a listed bumper, the son of Arcadio surprisingly took a little while to find his feet over hurdles, but once he clicked into gear on his third start at Down Royal two starts ago, he soon began to show his true worth. Despite racing with the choke out for the majority of the two-mile journey at the Powerstown Park venue last time, he still had enough reserves to fend off a useful field which included in-from pair Prairie Dancer and Plains Indian, and with him hitting the line to suggest there was even more in the tank if required, it’s clear the six-year-old is in the form of his life.