Andy Holding is back with two tips for today's action, with runners at Clonmel and Chelmsford.
BLUEBELL DIVA (best price 5/1) seemed appreciate being ridden more prominently than on her previous starts when a game runner-up at Limerick last time out and with the prospect of more to come now apparently finding her niche in handicaps, Mouse Morris’ filly is taken to go one place better.
Sent off no shorter than 66/1 on her three previous outings over hurdles, it was easy to see why the daughter of Walk In The Park was once again ignored in the market at the Greenmount Park venue, but instead of finishing with the also-rans like her price suggested she might, this time she exhibited far more promise.
On a day when those who raced wide held a big advantage on proper churned up ground, she was one of only a select few who actually stayed competitive despite racing on the slowest part of the track and it was also nice to see her fight back at the eventual winner once she’d skipped clear after the last.
Fully entitled to be seriously upgraded for that effort, the lightly-raced can prove that a mark of 89 underestimates her true capabilities.
Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of attention surrounding the chances of Hit Mac following his promising effort on handicap debut at Lingfield last time, but he does face several rivals who are already proven over tonight’s C&D and one of those in that category, ARAIFJAN (best price 5/1), appears one of the most likely to upset the party.
A veteran of 42 races, Michael Herrington’s gelding is obviously one of the more exposed members of the party, but in the plus column, he does arrive here in winning form and, not for the first time, that victory came at tonight’s track.
Jumping well from stall eight to assume the front running role, the five-year-old by no means got an easy time at the head affairs, but despite being pestered during the early part of the race, he hung tough all the way down the straight to record a game success.
Looking at all his three wins at the Essex venue, they were all achieved in a similar fashion and with tonight’s draw seen as the perfect springboard from which to start his attack, hopefully the son of Kyllachy can find the same sort of reserves he did last time at the business end on his return visit.