Good morning all,
Bright and sunny this morning here in the Midlands but my word, it rained solid here for 9 hours yesterday. York got a thorough soaking too, and it'll have had time to really get in overnight as well. Could well see slower times than yesterday and the mudlarks really ought to come through today.
There's also a couple going from trackers at Newmarket tonight, news on those plus my thoughts on York on the main piece.
2.20 – Jack Berry Handicap (5f)
It paid to be up with the speed and drawn low/mid yesterday in the sprint handicap, but looking at today's sprint, there's not actually that much pace on up front. Fast Act looks the most likely to take them along from low numbers but the issue there is that he's not got any form on ground this slow. He did win on good to soft at Windsor last year so may get away with it, and if allowed too much rope, could be hard to pick up.
Soie D'Leau is the other that might contest the lead, and he does have form on soft/heavy ground, but is drawn high. If Tony Hamilton can pop him out and move him more towards the middle without compromising his chance too much, I think he's got a great chance of scoring. He'll strip fitter for a recent outing (first for six months) and if it wasn't for the draw worries, I'd be really keen about him today. I'll still back him but just not as confidently as I otherwise would be.
Up the middle, Robot Boy has the pace to lead and although he does have a bit of form on soft (was beaten on it by Soie D'Leau last year though) he looks high enough in the handicap and may prefer quicker.
Neither the Middleton or the Dante make much appeal for a bet, but the Hambleton Handicap at 4.05 looks a bit more like it.
I do like the chance of top weight Firmament here. He's 1-1 at York, doesn't mind a bit of cut, has form in quality handicaps and although stall 16 would normally be a bit of a curse, it might play out okay on this softer ground. It could be the handicapper has him now but he looks a solid enough e/w option given his consistency and shouldn't be far away.
There are numerous worries with Get Knotted as well but he just about has enough going for him for me to be interested at 33-1. Michael Dods isn't exactly firing the winners in, and again a wide draw may not be ideal, but the step back up to a mile has been something I've been waiting for for a while. He handles plenty of cut and his York form reads 3210, so handles the track fine. That was a perfectly good comeback effort at Doncaster a fortnight ago and if coming on from that, could get involved.
At Newmarket tonight, there are two horses from my trackers that go. Sadly, neither is a big price but I'll put them up for you anyway – Red Roman, who caught the eye in the paddock on his debut goes in the 5.50, and Mutarabby, another good looking sort that may well have bumped into one at Leicester last time, goes in the following race at 6.20.
Today's selection – Firmament 4.05 York
Good luck with all your bets today