Good morning all,
A look back at the weekend's action to see if there were any ante-post clues for the Festival, which frighteningly is just eight weeks away now.
Exeter off is a pain, as I'd done today's selection from there, but there is one at Doncaster worth risking at a big price.
The market made the first at Kempton a match between the previous winners Lord Lamington and Fraser island, but new front-running tactics saw an improved effort from Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Goa Lil, who found plenty once asked to go and win her race in the straight and the other two simply couldn’t get near her. Yes, she was in receipt of 7lb here but this was a huge step forward on what she’d achieved previously. It pays a compliment to Goshen, who has her (and indeed, everything else) cooked when unseating at Sandown on her debut, but this at least puts her in the frame for the Boodles.
Fraser Island has gone well after a break before, only to lose his form pretty quickly, and he doesn’t really make much appeal as the sort to keep improving over hurdles either. I’ll be looking to take him on at short prices, despite the fact that on the figures this was an improved effort.
Frodon came back to something like his better form when making all to score in the Silviniaco Conti, but this was still below much of his form of last year. It will have done his confidence good, but others still make a bit more appeal in terms of the Ryanair.
The pain of watching Debestyman tip up at the last with a three-length lead in the Lanzarote is still with me a couple of days later. There’s some dispute as to whether he would have held on from a fast-finishing Burrows Edge, and in truth we’ll never know, but if he’d have hit the last on a stride my initial feeling is he’d have held on. Regardless, he’s surely going to gain compensation this season, as he’ll still be on a fair mark despite the rise he’ll get.
Nice to see Fingerontheswitch win the handicap chase that followed, getting a lovely ride form Millie Wonnacott in the process. I’m going back through the formlines he brought into the race as they look very solid, and should throw up a few more winners.
Over at Warwick, Two For Gold outstayed Hold The Note in the Grade 2 Novice Chase but the latter travelled like the better horse, and makes some appeal for the Close Brothers Novices Handicap at the Festival. That trip ought to be ideal for him, and given connections won the race two years ago, they know what it takes to win it. He goes on the shortlist.
Kimberlite Candy came right away for an easy win in the Classic, but back in third Petite Power dropped another big hint that he could give Liam Harrison a good spin in the Kim Muir. Here’s the problem – off his current mark of 131, he ain’t getting in, so needs to win something before the weights come out and go up about 5lb for it. Surely they can find a little race for him somewhere? The Kim Muir is a race that’s normally kind to me, and if they can get him there, he’ll be one of my bets of the week.
Over at Doncaster today, the first at 1.05 is a weak affair and it might be worth chancing Ring Minella to bounce back to form. He's thrown in on the best of his form last year but has lost his way a bit this time around, but a horse with a similar profile in Megalodon won for the yard at Warwick on Saturday so maybe they can turn him around too. If they can, he must go close off a very low-looking mark. The better ground will help his cause and he's worth a small e/w bet.
Good luck with all your bets today.