Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com with his views on Saturday’s cards.
Thunderstorms are set to hit Britain and Ireland at some stage later today and the going could ease considerably at all tracks, which muddies the waters somewhat as we look forward to the weekend action.
Having backed Washington DC in the Gp 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock Park earlier in the week – when the forecast suggested no rain – I am hoping/praying the rain arrives later rather than sooner. That said the forecast suggests I will be out of luck and Quiet Reflection (4.05) has an excellent record fresh, loves ease in the ground and trainer Karl Burke had a good winner at Sandown on Thursday. The filly does have a 5lbs penalty to carry but at 4/1 with BetVictor she must go close IF the word soft appears in any part of the going description.
The Silver Bowl is the big betting race on the card and Fire Brigade (2.55) did us a favour when scoring at Newmarket last week and a 7lbs rise may not prevent a quick follow-up for Michael Bell’s gelding. No Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle today and a difficult draw for Kieran O’Neill to overcome (11 of 15) but that HQ success was gained on soft ground and he is open to further improvement now we know he gets a mile – at 12/1 with BetVictor he can reward each way support.
Brian The Snail was a big disappointment at York last week but he is surely better than that run would suggest and it will be interesting to see if the market again speaks in his favour. Harry Angel (3.30) finished in front of Mubtasim at Ascot last time and is 4lbs better off this afternoon. Last year’s Gp 2 Mill Reef winner at Newbury is 5/4 at BetVictor and looks to hold all the aces. Trainer Clive Cox had a welcome winner at Sandown on Thursday and this lightly-raced sprinter has winning form with ease in the ground.
In the finale Tai Sing Yeh (5.40) is 5lbs higher than when finishing runner up at Redcar last time, but the winner is well ahead of the handicapper and the money on Teesside suggests connections feel they have a decent sort on their hands. His ability to handle soft ground would have to be taken on trust but I think there is a nice pot to be won with the colt this term.
At York St Malo (3.15) makes his seasonal reappearance and turf debut having shaped with considerable promise in three all-weather maidens in October. The selection won the last of those races by a convincing six lengths and he represents the inform yard of Roger Varian.
At Goodwood in the £100,000 7f 3-y-o handicap I hope to see Bless Him (3.10) go close for David Simcock and young apprentice Aaron Jones’ who takes off a valuable 3lbs. The selection is 6/1 at BetVictor and if he is more amenable to restraint in his first-time hood, I expect to see him go close.
Over at Chester and Fastnet Tempest (3.05) did us a favour a fortnight ago and a 5lbs rise looks fair with Franny Norton taking over in the saddle. The wife of trainer William Haggas suggested earlier in the week that the horse probably needed to win again to get into the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot next month and a draw in stall one is a plus.
The going is likely to be soft for this evening’s jumps card at Ffos Las and I am going to take a chance on Gone Platinum (6.30) who has been plying his trade in points and has bits of form from back in his native Ireland to suggest he could take advantage off his current mark.
There is a valuable handicap chase at Kelso tomorrow and the Borders track is also expecting its fair share of rain today. The unpronounceable (unless you speak Gaelic of course) Anseanachai Cliste (3.50) was last seen winning the Ulster National at Downpatrick back in March and a 7lbs rise for his British debut looks fair. Alain Cawley takes the ride for Irish handler Stephen McConville and is taken to gallop and jump his seven rivals into submission.
At Fontwell on Sunday Charlie Longsdon’s Kilfinichen Bay (3.30) can get to winning ways against a number of rivals who would be disadvantaged if the ground softened up after Saturday’s storms.
In Ireland hard to get away from the Newmarket Guineas’ winners Churchill (Sat) and Winter (Sun) following up at the Curragh although from a betting perspective Success Days (2.20) makes more appeal especially if conditions ease.
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