Good morning all,
For my penultimate column I've got three eyecatchers from the paddocks that I think will be winning sooner rather than later – if the first one doesn't win a handicap in the near future I'll eat my hat!
Today's a classic expample of why there's too much racing, with eight meetings in Britain and Ireland and yet I'm genuinely struggling to find a bet. And yet we need more racing, say some factions within the game! No thanks!
Eddie The Beagle (Muir & Grassick)
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Raced at Leicester, Monday 23/5
First into the paddock, by some way, for this 3yo handicap was Eddie The Beagle. Whether that was by accident or design I couldn’t tell you, but it’s no wonder he didn’t show a lot as a 2yo, given he’s huge and would have spent the majority of last year growing into his frame. He didn’t see a racecourse until late September anyway and was clearly backward.
A winter has done him plenty of good. Bred to do better this year now he tackles a trip, the first note I made before they had left the paddock was “trip?”. He’s got the build of one that will want a mile and a half as a minimum and nothing he did in the race made me change my mind.
He raced near the rear for much of the race and was outpaced, but once he got going late on fairly flew home through the beaten ones, and that despite not getting the best of runs either. He’ll strip a lot fitter for this and off a mark of just 54, that’s surely there to be taken advantage of.
Mystical Applause (Harry Eustace) / Carry On Aitch (Philip McBride)
Raced at Leicester, Monday 23/5
There were some decent lookers in the field for this maiden (although the big gamble, Metal Merchant, wasn’t one of them to my eyes) and Mystical Applause was just about my pick of them.
A lengthy, well-built sort, he wasn’t fit for his debut and his coat could have been a little better, but all the same he had a bit about him and was a very likeable sort. He was given a very education run by Hayley Turner here, not given the hardest of times once his chance had gone, and he’ll know a lot more next time. One to be interested in for a similar maiden.
Carry On Aitch is quite a tall type but is well put together and was one of the better ones. Green here, and with two handlers, you can argue that he raced on the best part of the track when trying to make his challenge (it looked like the far rail was the place to be) but all the same this was a step up on his debut effort and he appears to be going the right way. Maybe one that’s more a nursery type than a maiden, so let him have his qualifying run and then he’ll be of more interest.
Snuggle (Ed Walker)
Raced at Nottingham, Tuesday 17/5
Looked an out-and-out sprinter on appearance, all power in the hind quarters and that just backs up what the pedigree says (dam was a 5f/6f speedball). He was fit enough for this but was simply too green to do himself justice and there was little money for him, so clearly not a lot was expected. Given this looked a good race on paddock looks I’m more than willing to give him another chance in similar company next time out, and as he only beat a couple home, he’ll be a decent price too. (I can update this – I was told at Sandown last night it was the first time he’d seen grass, having not galloped on it at home, so expect a lot more next time.)
I was delighted to see Law Of Gold return to form at Cheltenham last time and he banished any doubts that he he wasn't as good as he was and with that, I reckon he can win the Champion Hunters Chase at Stratford (7.05) tonight for the second time. He won easily last year, beating Bob And Co in the process, and I see no reason why he can't beat him again. He's got his ground and it now looks like this has been his target all year.
Today's selection – Law Of Gold 7.05 Stratford
Good luck with all your bets today,