Good morning all,
Yesterday’s selection Hawthorn Cottage skipped clear of her field three out. At that point it looked like the mare was set for back-to-back wins in the in the mares’ handicap hurdle at Doncaster. Sadly, she wasn’t able to hold off the Lily Of Leysbourne who was returning from a mammoth 767-day absence.
Hawthorn Cottage had jumped neatly all the way to two out and had the rest all well beaten apart from the eventual winner. Did her jockey Laura Barry kick on too early? Possibly, but maybe that’s a bit harsh as without Lily Of Leysbourne in the field her mount would have been a fairly comfortable winner.
There was a sting in the tail for connections as the jockey failed to weigh in after the race and the horse was placed last. The jockey also suffered a seven-day suspension.
Inside today’s main piece I have a couple for the tracker. Plus, I have selection from Wetherby.
Frozen weather is gone for now
Warmer weather is forecast for the rest of the week and this means there won’t be issues with frozen tracks. However, it’s not necessarily all good news as some heavy rain is also forecast for parts of the country. Which could cause other problems.
Elite sport continues for now
The government yesterday denied it intends to suspend elite sport. Officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have told the BHA that no formal meetings had taken places as to whether there would be a shutdown of elite sport.
Given this is a government that said it wasn’t going to close schools and then did so 24 hours later, then I’m not as optimistic as some that this will continue to be the case.
This government is very much geared to following the polls and if the polls indicate the public is dissatisfied with elite sport continuing, while infections are on the rise, then their position will soon change and quickly.
It’s a rapidly evolving situation and the sport isn’t out of the woods just yet and if professional sport was to come to a halt racing won’t be back for some time.
Two for the tracker
Hold The Thought – Venetia Williams
Placed on his first two starts over fences at Lingfield and Ascot. The 6-year-old put in his best performance to date when runner-up to the improving Ask Me Early in the 2m 7 ½ f novices’ handicap chase at Chepstow. A solid jumper of a fence, he goes well on soft ground and will surely land a handicap chase before the season is out.
Springfield Fox – Tom George
Had looked an exciting prospect for staying chases when making all to win at Chepstow and Exeter early last year. He was sent off just 8/1 for the Coral Welsh Grand National. He never seemed to be travelling and ran as if something was amiss. Granted his stamina beyond 3m had to be proved but he was a beaten horse before that became an issue. The trainer has been struggling for winners of late which could partially explain the 8-year-old’s disappointing performance. It will hopefully pay to ignore this run, as he surely remains capable of better.
It’s Wetherby and Fairyhouse for jumps fans today and Lingfield and Newcastle on the all-weather.
2:05 – Eclair D'Ainay made an impressive chase debut when winning at Chepstow 53-days ago. Both the second and third have won since so the form of that race looks solid. He’s up 14lb for that success and looks the right favourite.
The King Of May ran really well when a close-up third over C&D 16-days ago. That was a slightly better race than this and he can race off the same mark here. He won't be far away if the same form today.
Billingsley takes my eye at a fair price. The 9-year-old won three of his four starts over fences and looked an improving handicap chaser. Ran well for a long way and was still in contention when falling four out on his seasonal return at Doncaster 31-days ago. It was good to soft last time and he’s a better horse on even deeper ground. He’s 4-6 on heavy and likely all the better for his reapperance run.
3:30 – Memory Of Youth remains a maiden after nine starts but made a very encouraging return to action when 2nd of 19 at Naas last month. The mare gets the first time cheekpieces today and if she builds on her reappearance effort looks capable of winning a race like this off her present mark. Sean Flanagan takes over in the saddle which looks a positive.
2:05 – Billingsley – 13/2 @ Bet365
Good luck with your Tuesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk