Good morning all,
The 2020-21 NH season is coming to an end. We have three-days at Perth’s for their April meeting and on Saturday the curtain comes down on the British season with Sandown staging the Bet365 Gold Cup.
Over the Irish Sea, the Irish NH season ends with a bang and five days of high-class action at the Punchestown Festival.
Inside today’s main piece I have some Perth pointers. Plus, I have got a couple for the tracker from Newbury and two early season juveniles who can build on promising racecourse debuts.
Sea Karats – William Haggas
Sea Karats, a daughter of Sea The Stars and a half sister to the trainer's smart 4-year-old Al Aasy. Looked a very interesting newcomer in the 1m 2f maiden fillies’ races at Newbury on Friday. Sent off the 10/11 favourite. The filly looked unlucky not to make a winning debut. They went no gallop and she got no run two furlongs out. However, once in the clear she was finishing her race off strongly to grab third, beaten just a neck. Sea Karats holds an Oaks entry and can make up into a high-class middle-distance filly this year.
Matthew Flinders – Ed Walker
A useful 3-year-old last year winning two of his six starts both on good/good to firm ground and had ran better than his final position of 8th suggests at York last October. The ground would have plenty soft enough for him that day and the 1m2f on testing ground just stretched his stamina.
Sent off the 7/2 favourite for Newbury’s Spring Cup on Sunday. The gelding found only two race fit rivals too strong when finishing a 1 ½ length third of 16. That was just his third start over a mile and he appeals as one for a valuable mile prize like the Royal Hunt Cup. He also should be worth another go over 1m 2f on decent ground.
Early Season Juveniles
I don’t normally take much notice of early season 2-year-old races. However, this year I have approached things differently. Here are two that caught my eye last week.
Antiphon – Andrew Balding
Andrew Balding doesn’t normally have many juvenile runners in April but this season looks different. The son of Kodiac shaped with plenty of promise on his racecourse debut at Newmarket on Tuesday. Keeping on well to finish third of 8. Signs of greenness, will be suited by a step up to 6f and is a winner in waiting.
Balding unleashed another useful juvenile at Newbury on Friday in the shape of Berkshire Shadow. The son of Dark Angel gave his eight rivals a head start but still managed to win on his racecourse debut. It augers well for his inevitable step into better company next time. It’s a maiden race that should see its fair share of winners and provides my second juvenile eyecatcher.
Gisburn – Richard Hannon
The son of Ribchester showed plenty of ability and will learn from this racecourse debut. He made the running showing good early pace but looked green 2f out. Headed coming to the final furlong he stayed on all the way to the line to finish 4th, only beaten 1 ½ lengths. He can win a races.
Group One Power went off at a generous looking 100/30 in winning the Grand Metropolitan Handicap yesterday and as I suspected got the run of the race out in front.
The runner-up Soto Sizzler will likely be back for a handicap at the Derby meeting.
1:55 – William Hill Extra Places Every Day Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3) – 3m
Peur De Rien made it 2-5 since switching to the larger obstacles when winning at Kempton (good) last month. The 8-year-old has been raised 6lb for that success but is going the right way and will appreciate the drying ground.
2:30 – British EBF William Hill Gold Castle “National Hunt” Novices' Hurdle (Class 1) – 3m
Threeunderthrufive 3-3 over hurdles prior to going for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, he wasn’t disgraced in finishing sixth of 16 there and is back in calmer waters here.
3:00 – Phil Nelson Supports Perth Handicap Chase (Class 3) – 3m
Valtor isn’t the horse he once was but has dropped down to a tempting mark. The 12-year-old was in process of putting in one of his better recent efforts when blundering and unseating his rider two out at Ludlow last time. At around 7/1 he looks value to this particular pundit.
3:35 – William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) – 2m
The Bees Knees might have been expected to fare better on his return from a three-month break at Ludlow three weeks ago. Prior to that he had been running well in the autumn, winning at Newton Abbot & Musselburgh and finishing a close fourth of 17 at Cheltenham in November.
4:10 – Follow @williamhillracing On Twitter Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Class 4) – 2m 4f
Lady Chuffnell a winner at Plumpton two starts back looked set to follow up when making a bad mistake at the last at Carlisle 41-days ago and had to settle for second. Up 6lb but can go close if proving as effective on today’s quicker ground.
Bellaney Gem seemed to relish the quicker ground when runner-up at Kelso two starts back and when winning a weak novices’ hurdle at Sedgefield 12-days ago. Back in handicap company today off a 10lb higher mark but she can’t be ruled out in her present form.
3:00 – Valtor – 8/1 @ Bet365
Good luck with your Wednesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk