Charlie McCann of marks your card for Thursday’s racing

Charlie McCann of marks your card for Thursday’s racing


Isolated thunderstorms are forecast throughout Thursday and where they strike will obviously lead to a significant softening of the ground. Do check underfoot conditions at all today’s courses.

At Haydock as long as there is no significant rain I hope to see Vj Day (2.30) reverse York form with Red Force One following a seven-week break. Jamie Spencer keeps the ride for Kevin Ryan who will be keen to get his juveniles up and running after a truncated start to the season.

The first nursery (2-year-old handicap) of the season follows and Our Man In Havana (3.00) has shown promise in maidens for Tom Dascombe and an opening mark of 69 looks fair representing a local stable who have such a good record at the track.

In the opening apprentice handicap at Newbury Our Lord (5.55) can reward each way support having been caught close home at Chepstow last time off this mark. Top-weight Major Valentine has won four of his last five starts and is only 1lb higher than for her latest Bath success. He must go close under regular pilot Ben Robinson.

In the 3-y-old mile-and-a-half handicap, I expect to see a much better show from The Grand Visir who is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time having disappointed in a listed contest at Goodwood back in May. The nod, however, goes to On To Victory (7.30) who is 5lbs “well-in” despite carrying a 6lbs penalty for his fluent Salisbury success last week.

Tundra (8.05) showed promise on the all-weather before scoring on her turf debut at Lingfield last month for Roger Varian. The lightly-raced filly looks open to significant improvement and former champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa keeps the ride.

In the last Golden Isles is only a couple of pounds higher than when scoring at Lingfield last month when the filly attracted plenty of market support. She looks sure to go close but I like the booking of de Sousa for Pack It In (9.05) representing the yard of Brian Meehan who did us a favour with impressive juvenile Barraquero earlier in the week.

At Epsom, those with experience don’t set the bar too high and Mark Johnston newcomer Doublet (6.45) might be the answer. The Middleham handler likes to have runners at Epsom and this well-bred sort cost £130,000 as a foal; stable jockey Joe Fanning takes the ride.

At Yarmouth Arbalet (1.50) can go one better than when runner up at York last month although that wouldn’t have been the greatest juvenile contest staged on the Knavesmire. After a difficult start, Hugo Palmer has his string in top form and his grey colt can improve past Hey Gaman who drops back in trip having looked a non-stayer (pulled hard) at Ascot over 7f last time.

At Tipperary this evening Now You’re Talking (6.50) can show her Royal Ascot fourth in the Queen Mary was no fluke in the listed juvenile contest over the minimum trip. Trained by Joseph O’Brien the filly is a maiden after three starts but she has shown plenty of ability in each of those runs and she can score at the expense of Aidan O’Brien’s Actress who finished sixth in the Albany at the Royal meeting last month.

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