Architect Tips is back with seven tips from today's action.
READY RECKONER (best price 15/2) has yet to really threaten in four starts so far but I liked the way he hit the line strongly on his all-weather debut last time at Chelmsford to be nearest the finish from an unpromising position due to his bad draw in stall eleven and should have a lot more to offer here.
He was ridden with the possible intent of keeping his handicap mark down, given he was held-up in rear and wasn’t given a hard time of things when the race began to develop before he surged home to only be beaten around four-lengths. The assessor has reduced his mark a couple of pounds and he’s drawn much better here in stall two, so there’s optimism about Jane Chapple Hyam’s charge displaying an even bigger effort here.
Nemean Lion won impressively on his hurdles debut and has to be respected but conditions will be softer here and that will suit MOONLIGHT SPIRIT (best price 12/1) who was rated as high as 110 on the Flat for Charlie Appleby having won a Group Three alongside being highly-tried in the Gold Cup behind Stradivarius. He made a good hurdles debut when winning at Carlisle on soft ground, where his jumping was very assured throughout and he was heavily eased down in the closing stages, winning on the bridle.
He hasn’t been seen since but it’s interesting to see connections pitch him into the deep-end here under a penalty on his return. Furthermore, his Cartmel-based handler reported he was only 80% fit on his hurdles debut, so better is surely to come and he makes plenty of each-way appeal here. I think the bookmakers have massively underestimated his chances here, as he would easily be pushing close to favouritism if he was trained by one of the bigger yards like Nicholls or Henderson.
Coo Star Sivola would have sound claims on his best form but the fact that he hasn’t won in four years and hasn’t been seen in 500+ days is enough to overlook him here, while stablemate Chambard might just have too much weight. Blaklion won this last year but UP HELLY AA KING (best price 5/1) who was fourth in this twelve months ago, is weighted to finish a lot closer to Blaklion this time around and gets the vote.
He won a good veterans’ race on his final start last season at Doncaster when beating Vintage Clouds and returned with a very good fourth at Kelso when last spotted. He would have finished third at least without stumbling badly after the final fence but, either way, his fitness is now assured and this race is likely to be run to suit with lots of pace expected to be on offer. This eleven-year-old might get the perfect set-up to make a serious impact.