Today, there is a busy day of action with a total of nine meetings across UK and Ireland.
On Wednesday’s post there were two winners from three selections continuing the good form from Epsom.Embed from Getty Images
The build-up to Royal Ascot is well and truly underway. I’ll be writing race selections daily starting from Tuesday.
We see some good racing, especially from York and Musselburgh, which is where I have focussed my attention. I’ve looked into the bigger field handicaps with most having two selections that should go well, so I’ll try to keep the thoughts brief.
A 7f Handicap on the Knavesmire sees our first two selections. A field of 18 are set to go to post, with Enlace looking unlikely to run.
Alfred Hutchinson last two runs have been at the track. He was a good second here last time out two weeks ago to So Beloved and can reverse that form, especially considering the rise in the handicap of the David O’Meara runner. The ground shouldn’t be an issue and as pointed out has shown form at this trip. When on the all-weather he was rated as high as 100 and his highest winning mark were 97; running off 1lb higher on 98 shouldn’t be too much of a problem for a horse in form.
Twin Appeal is a David Barron horse I’m willing to side with. His form over this trip is really solid having won four times previously. A horse that operates on all grounds and whether the rain comes or not he is expected to give his all. When winning at Doncaster on good to soft last time out he tracked the pace and stayed on strongly, a repeat of that here should suit him nicely. PJ McDonald on board, who is riding very well picking up lots of winners, so should find a tune from his ride.
A few of these will require the forecasted rain to go well, including hat-trick seeking Instant Attraction and Withernsea. Supplicant is in a first time visor and is one of a trio of Richard Fahey runners in this race. He is a trainer who does get winners here. Heaven’s Guest is one that will always run a race and could claim a place, interesting each-way backers.
Advice: Alfred Hutchinson (12/1 each-way)
Twin Appeal (10/1 each-way)
Kevin Ryan’s four-year-old Distant Past is three wins from four starts this season. He was a course and distance winner last time out under Shane Gray’s ride and off the same mark; with the same jockey there is lot to like about his chances. The usual draw bias would suggest it best to be low here at Musselburgh however in bigger field races it suggests that winners come from higher draws. This is something to possibly monitor ahead of the big race but drawn in stall 12 for the selection shouldn’t be a problem. There is rain forecast in the area overnight but he is one that handles any ground with wins on soft and good to firm, so far this season.
Jim Goldie has a strong hand in the race with four runners. Out of those four his best chances seem to lie with Classy Anne and Rothesay Chancer. Both won last time out but the draw could be against the latter with the ground potentially against the former.
Ten-year-old Captain Dunne was a good seventh when behind Monsieur Joe at York, that form looks very strong and despite a poor draw he could run into a place for an in-form Tim Easterby yard. Meadway has risen to a mark of 88 and saw a 3lb rise for his all-weather win in November. If he is fit will be key to his chances however he has won sprint handicaps at York and Ripon previously, so would be expected to go close.
Despite the size of the field and the price of the selection you still have to fancy him to be a winner but expect a hard luck story or two.
Advice: Distant Past (11/4 win)
15:25 Musselburgh – Sprint Cup
The feature race of the day and a big prize is up for grabs. A competitive looking sprint will make this very tricky to find the winner. Here a two picks that will run their races and give you a chance, backing each-way.
Of course Red Baron looks the one to beat on form. He comes here off the same mark as his second to Monsieur Joe at York and Neil Farley is on board, who have a good relationship. He looks the one to beat on his most recent efforts. Online Alexander with Shane Gray on board sees her back to a workable mark. She runs off one that is just 1lb higher than her last success and drawn high in 15 is one that could go well.
Demora won this race last year and will go close this year. She is 2lb higher here but does have apprentice Tom Marquand claiming 7lb, which is vital to her chances. She made all to win last year on soft ground, so conditions this year are slightly different. This year she is arguably drawn in a better stall (seven) and despite the lack of form she has some good runs behind her.
Boom The Groom was third in last week’s ‘Dash’ at Epsom behind the Paul Midgley duo. He is able to run off the same mark here and if replicating that effort he is bound to go close. Over the winter he ran well on the all-weather finishing a couple of times behind the Godolphin horse Pretend. As a four-year-old there is scope to improve. Many sprinters are able to be turned out quickly with little effect on performance.
Kingsgate Choice was on the shortlist and he won this in 2013 but has to overcome stall one. He won from that draw two-years ago however hasn’t won since. When he won he was 1lb higher and on top of that Megan Carberry claims 5lb, she is a very capable jockey. His run behind Monsieur Joe at York has solid form and that should see him fitter. If backing him he would be an each-way selection at a price, as I can only see him filling a place
Of the rest Arctic Feeling may require that forecast rain with most wins coming on softer ground. Sammy Jo Bell takes 5lb off and provided she is a very handy jockey, she could get a good tune out of this Richard Fahey seven-year-old. Hawkeyethenoo was a very good third in the Victoria Cup at Ascot behind Speculative Bid. Dropping back to a 5f trip is interesting but at his age (nine-years-old) he may find it a little too sharp.
Advice: Demora (10/1 each-way)
Boom The Groom (9/1 each-way)
Twilight Son and Scalzo head the market for this 6f race. Despite both having heavy raises from the handicapper could still have plenty of scope to show further progress by going close here. Twilight Son won at Newmarket last time out and was going away from his rivals at the finish while Scalzo won by 7l on good to soft ground at Haydock, even after dwelling in the stalls. Even though Scalzo could be a group horse running in handicap company at the prices I’m looking elsewhere.
In first time blinkers Burnt Sugar could go well off a falling mark. His last two efforts have been in Group company in races won by Limato and Adaay. His best form came as a two-year-old when Pat Dobbs was on board; he takes the ride today and will look to follow up his big win in the Coronation Cup last Saturday with another winner here. If ridden prominently or close to the pace then he should be involved in the finish. Hopefully a bit of overnight rain would suit and with the blinkers on he should put in a good showing at a big price.
I keep getting drawn to Mukhmal, who won last time out at Newmarket. In the race he won the fifth that day Mehdi raced yesterday finishing second showing the form may be something. His mark has gone up 6lb for that win, which is my slight concern, due to his mark making him require a career best. He did show promise, especially as a two-year-old however he hasn’t showed too much of that since. With him having the hood on it would suggest he is a little quirky.Embed from Getty Images
Northgate Lad seems well fancied however he may require most of the forecasted rain to go well. His best form for me was his debut when defeating Mattmu on heavy ground at Beverley. A consistent type but has a low draw to overcome. Field Game is one that could build on his last effort, which was a third at Newmarket. If running to a similar level then will have chances.
Advice: Burnt Sugar (33/1 each-way)
Mukhmal (16/1 each-way)
The first race here at Sandown and the Andrew Balding trained Star System is one that is in my tracker. The handicapper may have been a little too harsh with the 8lb rise for his win at Ripon but then again he travelled well and despite being hampered found a way to win, which shows he does have potential. However in this field he could be one to watch and take out of the race due to there being some nice types in the field, including Western Reserve and Mustaaqeem.
Waady returns back to this minimum 5f trip after finishing fourth behind Adaay at Newbury last time out in a listed race over 6f. That was a respectable effort considering Adaay has since gone on to follow up that win by beating Limato at Haydock; he holds an entry into the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. The drop back in trip is a positive and could go back to showing his improvement, especially with some good form to his name. Profitable and the unexposed Likely are the two likely dangers, while Elysian Flyer could outrun his odds.Embed from Getty Images
Grand Inquisitor sees Ryan Moore team up with Sir Michael Stoute. He won a maiden at Nottingham after being well held at Newbury on debut. The form from his Nottingham win doesn’t look great, only the fourth Ella’s Honour as improved finishing second on her next start. It is hard to judge whether his opening mark of 84 is being harsh or lenient. However he is likely to show further improvement and the drop back in trip to 7f not being a problem. It is only in this section rather than being a selection because of Classic Win, who on paper looks the main danger. The Godolphin first choice won a Leicester maiden by a neck but that form looks like a stronger maiden with the second and fourth winning next time out while the fifth was second on his next start.