14:55 Curragh

KORTEZ BAY (best price 13-2) sometimes flattered to deceive in several big field maidens last season, but there’s also no denying he harbours plenty of natural talent and hopefully with a decent amount of time under his belt, he can return to the scene of some of his better performances a stronger and more streetwise individual good enough to finally get off the mark. 

The feature of most of his races was how well he travelled and that trait was once again in evidence on his final start here towards the backend of the season. Seemingly going best of all heading down to the final furlong, the 11-10 favourite failed to go with the main players from that juncture but as he ended up racing on the slowest part of the track over towards the far side, his effort probably wasn’t as bad as it seemed at first glance. 

Indeed, the overall speed figure and subsequent form shown by the winner, Samuel Colt, suggest he actually ran close to his best and with what should turn out to be a better draw here this afternoon (most winners on the straight course here yesterday were drawn low), anything other than a positive outcome on his return to the Kildare venue would have to go down as a massive blow to all concerned. 

Kortez Bay - 0.5pts e/w @ 13/2

15:02 Wincanton

MANUELITO (NAP) (best price 7-2) was the only one to offer any meaningful resistance to the smart Ryan’s Rocket at Taunton last time out and with that form arguably the pick on offer in this similar heat, David Pipe’s inmate rates a confident choice to get off the mark over hurdles at the third attempt. 

Ridden way more prominently than was the case on his seasonal bow behind the useful Steel Ally over today’s C&D previously, the four-year-old was still up with the strong gallop set coming out of the back straight and although he ultimately couldn’t quite match motors with the eventual winner from two out, he did keep on in determined fashion. 

Furthermore, the time figure of the race at the West Country venue suggested he had run to a useful level and providing he can handle today’s quicker surface, he should turn out to be hugely competitive. 

Manuelito - 1pt @ 7/1

15:55 Stratford

RAISE YOUR GLASS (best price 6-1) had showed enough on her last two starts to suggest she’s more than capable of winning a small race and, having been handed a mark that in no way looks too penal, there’s more than a fair chance Charlie Longsdon’s filly can go well on handicap debut. 

Outpaced from two out in a well-run affair on her debut for new connections at Hereford following a 67-day break, the daughter of Jack Hobbs pitted her wits against some useful juveniles over today’s C&D last time out and although she came up a little short, if you take away the impressive winner, she accounted for the likes of Swift Hawk and Ragosina, the two standard bearers for the race. 

Seemingly an improve filly since undergoing wind surgery, hopefully today’s better will raise her game to even greater heights and with that all-important track knowledge under her belt, another solid effort looks on the cards. 

Raise Your Glass - 0.5pts e/w @ 6/1