- Doncaster: It’s The Start Of The Flat Season…….
- Lincoln Handicap: Use Our Key Trends To Find The Winner…….
- Newbury: Three LIVE Races From The Berkshire Track……..
- Trainers Quotes: Doubles All Round……………
Hi, it does seem a bit strange to be talking about the start of the turf flat season when it was only last week we were taking in the Cheltenham Festival, while we are still three weeks away from the Grand National! However, that’s what we’ve got this week as the curtain goes up at Doncaster for another flat season on the green stuff!
As always, the ultra-competitive Lincoln Handicap takes centre stage at the opening-day Donny fixture – we’ve 22 runners this time – including last year’s winner – Bravery – heading to post.
All the talk in midweek has been about the Ryan Moore-ridden Fire Brigade who has been well-supported and as a result looks set to go off favourite for the big race – but, will the bookies get burnt?
We’ve covered the race below with all the key trends plus the runners we think should be given a second glance – see if Fire Brigade ticks the main trends and also find out which seven horses have the best stats on their side.
Of course, the ITV cameras will be on Town Moor to take in the Lincoln, plus three more races that includ the Spring Mile and two Listed events the Doncaster Mile and Cammidge Trophy.
However, let’s not forget about the hedge-hoppers! It’s not all bad news for NH fans as we’ve also a decent LIVE ITV card at Newbury to take in with three of the races over the sticks being beamed onto your TV sets.
So, bundles to get stuck into and we’ll be hoping to find plenty more winners for you and as always, we’ve got it all covered with free tips and all key trends for the LIVE races. Enjoy!
Have a Great Weekend
This Week At Trainers-Quotes………Double, Double, Double Delight……………
The weather took it’s toll yet again towards the beginning of the week – we even had a rare blank day with no runners on TQ and we can’t remember the last time that happened!
However, things certainly picked up once that dreaded ‘Beast From The East’ melted away with the winners flying in again.
We saw winners – but actually we mean doubles! Yes, not only were some of our yards sending out decent winners but in the space of just two days we saw Jamie Snowden, Simon Dow and Mick Appleby each fire in doubles (see their winners below)!!
Top stuff and another example just how valuable the TQ info is to members!
Here’s a snippet of what members were told this week…………………………
“Shockingtimes – Is quite a complicated character and has had issues but he’s on a very winnable mark and so if things fall his way would not be shocked to see him run well here.” 1st 7/1 JAMIE SNOWDEN
“Hogan’s Height – Has won two his last two and looks progressive. This will be tougher in a competitive handicap where all 5 look to have a big chance – but he’s in good form and certainly has a chance with trip, ground and track all fine. Gavin rides.” 1st 7/2 JAMIE SNOWDEN
“Sparkalot – Going the right way and quickened up well last time. Seems in top form and likely to go close if the race works out for him with jockey who knows him on board.” 1st 11/10 SIMON DOW
“Le Torrent – Grand old horse returning from injury, has done plenty of work but sure to come on for this although this would be within his scope if he was straight enough.” 1st 12/1 SIMON DOW
“Thair – One of two in the race for us. Dropped into a Seller here and really on these terms should be hard to beat. CD winner at the track and off a rating of 79 we head here as the highest in the field. Draw 4 is fine as he likes to get on with things and – as mentioned – should be finding this company a lot easier that recent runs.” 1st 4/7 MICK APPLEBY
“Raakid – Only fourth career run for us. Has been showing signs of form and a fair second last time out at Southwell in the first-time cheekpieces. More needed as that was only a claimer but he seems to be going the right way. The cheekpieces are on again here, while the step in trip will also suit after running on well over a mile last time. SDS rides and has acted on this surface in the past. Competitive race for the grade but e/w chance.” 1st 9/2 MICK APPLEBY
Don’t forget the TQ VIEW daily selection is what the team feel is the ‘best quote’ of the day. With over 5 years’ experience speaking to all the trainers they are in no better place to sort the wheat from the chaff!
Yet again more proof that our TQ info that – don’t forget comes direct from the yards each day – is a must-have for any serious punter!
Also, a lot of our members use the TRAINERS-QUOTES info to lay horses as well as back them – there are plenty of angles these days with the betting exchanges!! Or even back other horses in certain races with the trainers also taking about other horses in races they’ve heard good words about!
YOUR direct line through to the UK’s TOP Trainers – EVERY time they have a horse running…
Be a fly-on-the-wall at the UK’s TOP yards…
Continue to peek behind the stable door to see how the horses are REALLY performing at home… And what the Trainers REALLY think about their chances…?
Get involved and tap into top daily info from 20 leading yards, below – Just drop us a line here and we can discuss any offers we’ve got on at the moment.
You can check out all the latest winning quotes on the main site here………..
Doncaster: We Kick-Off Another Turf Flat Season
1.50 – Unibet Cammidge Trophy (Listed Race) Cl1 6f ITV4
14/14 – Aged 7 or younger
13/14 – Aged between 4-6 years-old
13/14 – Had won no more than 5 times before
12/14 – Carried 9-2 or more in weight
11/14 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
12/14 – Returned 14/1 or shorter in the betting
10/14 – Raced at Doncaster, Ascot, Lingfield or Windsor last time out
9/14 – Had won over 6f before
9/14 – Last ran 4 months or longer ago
8/14 – Rated 102+
8/14 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
8/14 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
8/14 – Had raced at Doncaster before
7/14 – Unplaced favourites
3/14 – Won last time out
2/14 – Winning favourites
2/14 – Had won at Doncaster before
No winners from stalls 1 or 2 in the last 10 runnings
6 of the last 10 winners came between stalls 9-16 (inc)
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/1
Note: The 2007 running was staged at Newcastle
Note: The 2006 running was staged at Redcar
TQ VERDICT: Listed action to get the LIVE ITV racing going. Yes, at this time of the year it’s always a bit tricky when backing these flat turf horses as unless they’ve had an AW winter campaign there is a certain amount of guesswork on just how fit horses are. Based on the official ratings then the Dean Ivory-trained Lancelot Du Lac is the one to beat off a mark of 110. He’s also fit from the AW and heads here in rude health after a decent win at Wolverhampton – he’s sure to be popular. However, with 8 of 12 career wins coming on the AW then, for me, I think he’s slightly better on the sand surfaces. He’s run 34 times on the grass and actually only won 4 times. It’s also interesting that ALL of the last 14 winners of this race were aged 7 or younger so this 8 year-old has this trend against him too. The only proven course and distance winner in the field – Perfect Pastime, who is 8 years-old too, also falls down here. In fact, 13 of the last 14 winners were aged between 4-6 so if this is to be repeated then of the 11 runners we are left with seven. The stats also suggest to look for a slightly lesser-exposed sort with 13 of the last 14 having won no more than 5 times before – Lancelot Du Luc and Perfect Pastime have both won 12 times during their careers. Danzeno certainly has the past form to go well and he’s fit from a spell in Dubai. However, with just 1 win from his last 18 this Mick Appleby-trained 7 year-old just doesn’t win enough for me. Ice Age, Blue Vega and Mijack are others that should be involved but the two that get the call here are TERUNTUM STAR (e/w) and MR LUPTION (e/w) The first-named ran well when last seen over course and distance (4th) in a Listed race and with that coming on soft ground we know he’ll handle conditions. He’s also a horse that won first time out in the past so the 133 day absence doesn’t concern me, while the promising Kevin Stott is building up a decent relationship with this 6 years-old 4-1-4-1. Mr Lupton hails from the Richard Fahey camp that usually have their string to the fore at this time of the year. Yes, he’s got 3 ½ lengths to find with Teruntum Star based on his last run at York but that came at the end of a long year. He’s another that’s gone well off a break before too and is also a proven course winner here. Both selections are rated 104 so, yes, they’ve 6lbs to find with Lancelot Du Luc but are the joint third-highest rated in the field so based on that they look the better value against a horse whose win strike-rate on the turf is just 12%.
2.25 – 32Red Spring Mile (Handicap) Cl2 1m ITV4
14/16 – Carried 8-13 or more
13/16 – Aged 4 years-old
12/16 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
13/16 – Finished fourth or worse last time out
11/16 – Won over a mile before
8/16 – Won from a double-figure draw
2/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Won last time out
1/16 – Won a race at Doncaster before
2/16 – Winners from stalls 3-7 (inclusive)
Lord Of The Rock won the race in 2016
Richard Fahey has trained the winner in 2010 & 2014
The average winning SP in the last 10 renewals is 15/1
Just 1 winner older than 6 in the last 16 years
Lord Of The Rock won the race in 2016
Trainer William Haggas has a 23% record with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer John Gosden is 0 from 24 (0%) with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer Charles Hills is 1 from 28 (4%) with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer Declan Carroll is 2 from 45 (4%) with his 4+ year-olds at the track
TQ VERDICT: We’ll hopefully get a few clues here regarding the draw for the Lincoln but, again, another race with several decent trends to note. With just one winner aged 7 or older then this rules out Georgian Bay, but that horse is around 33/1! It’s the 4 year-olds that have by far the best record in the race though – they’ve won 13 of the last 16 runnings (81%) so with that hefty stat on our side the 21 runners are whittled down to 11. Then with 14 of the last 16 winners carrying 8-13 of more then that rules out three more of those 4 year-olds, meaning the 7 horses to focus on are – Original Choice, Kynren, What’s The Story, Apex King, Seduce Me, Humbert, Titus & Pastime. You’ll notice that Tagdeer, who has been popular in the betting and likely to go off favourite, is not in that list. This John Gosden runner is a 5 year-old, while it’s also surprising that the Gosden camp are 0 from 24 at the track with their 4+ year-olds! Jockey Ryan Moore is a rare booking for the Keith Dalgleish team so What’s The Story certainly leaps off the page and is sure to be popular in the betting as a result. This 4 year-old is yet to finish out of the first two from 5 turf starts and with only 6 career runs in total there should be more on offer. However, I would have liked to have seen him run over a mile – all his runs to date have been over shorter so despite there not being any real evidence against him staying, it’s still an unknown. Humbert has been doing really well on the AW and would enter calculations but he’s still got a bit to prove on turf (0 from 2) for me. Of the bigger prices, Pastime, Apex King, Titus and Seduce Me are ones that have several key trends on their side – however, the picks here are ORIGINAL CHOICE (e/w) and KYNREN (e/w). Original Choice comes from the in-form William Haggas yard that also boast an impressive 23% record with their 4+ year-olds at the track. He showed up well on heavy ground last time (2nd) back in September at Haydock and so far from 8 runs on the turf has won twice and been second three times. Add in that he won first time out last season then he’s a horse that clearly goes well fresh. With James Doyle riding I expect him to be fully tuned up to run well. Kynren went into many a notebook at the end of last season – winning his last three on the spin. Yes, this is a step up again and he’s 8lbs higher than last time. However, he won with any amount in-hand (3 lengths) that day and it also came on soft ground over a mile. The David Barron yard often go well at this time of the year and also head here having had 3 winners from their last 9 runners (33%) at the time of writing.
3.00 – Unibet Doncaster Mile Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 1m ITV4
Just 5 previous running
5/5 – Last ran 4+ months ago
5/5 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
4/5 – Rated 108+
4/5 – Winners from stalls 2 or 4 (2 each)
4/5 – Had won 6+ times before
4/5 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
4/5 – Had won over at least 1m before
4/5 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
2/5 – Winning favourites
2/5 – Ran at Ascot last time out
1/5 – Won last time out
Trainer Roger Varian has a 29% record with his older horses here
Trainer David Simcock has a 30% record with his older horses here
Trainer Michael Dods is just 1 from 61 (2%) with his older horses here
TQ VERDICT: Trainer Richard Hannon won this race 12 months ago and Roger Varian landed the prize in 2016 and it looks like they might fight it out again. Hannon has Tabarrak, who is the highest-rated in the field but also has to give 3lbs away to the rest of the field. We last saw him winning over 7f at Newbury in Listed Class and is actually 2-from-2 in this grade so certainly sets the standard. He’s won over a mile too so the trip is not an issue, but the softer ground might be. He’s handled good-to-soft in the past but if conditions don’t dry out then this would be the softest he’s tacked so far – that would be a concern. He’s still a big player in the grade but a combination of the ground and having to give 3lbs away make his task that much harder. Therefore, and with a 29% strike-rate at the track with his older horses, the Roger Varian-trained ZABEEL PRINCE gets the call. Yes, this 5 year-old flopped the last time we saw him but that run came only a week after his previous outing so certainly had an excuse. He’s won on soft ground though and with the winter to freshen up the Varian camp should have him raring to go again. He’s also won over a mile and also over 1m 1/2f (soft) so getting home won’t be an issue so we can expect connections to make full use of his more proven stamina in these conditions. Intern, Crazy Horse, Born To Be Alive and Another Touch make up the field but with a decent 30% record at the track with this 4+ year-olds the David Simcock-trained INTERN can do best of the rest with a certain Ryan Moore catching the eye in the saddle.
3.35 – 32Red Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 1m ITV4
15/15 – Aged 6 or younger
14/15 – Carried 9-4 or less in weight
13/15 – Had won over at least 1m before
12/15 – Had won between 2-4 times before
11/15 – Drawn in stall 9 or higher
10/15 – Unplaced favourites
10/15 – Having their first run of the flat season
10/15 – Returned a double figure price in the betting
9/15 – Winning distance – 1 length or more
8/15 – Had raced at Doncaster before
8/15 – Aged 4 years-old
7/15 – Officially rated between 95-98
7/15 – Placed first or second last time out
6/15 – Raced at either Newmarket or Lingfield last time out
5/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/15 – Placed horses from stall 12 (1 winner)
5/15 – Won last time out
4/15 – Placed horses from stall 16 (1 winner)
3/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by Mark Tompkins
2/15 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/15 – Trained by William Haggas
2/15 – Trained by John Quinn
7 of the last 8 winners carried between 9-0 and 9-4 in weight
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 14/1
Note: The 2006 renewal was run at Redcar and the 2007 running was staged at Newcastle
TQ VERDICT: As always, a super-tough renewal of the Lincoln Handicap to unravel but as least we’ve several key trends to help us. Bravery gave trainer David O’Meara his first win in the race 12 months ago when getting up by a neck to beat the well-backed Oh This Is Us and in the process save the bookies from a monster payout! The 5 year-old hasn’t won since but did contest a lot of other very competitive handicaps through last year. As a result of not winning since he’s actually 5lbs lower than 12 months ago, plus has also been gelded since. As the current champ he’d be foolish to totally ignore, especially as he won this off a break last year and is also 5lbs lower. However, he’s in stall 1 now (stall 20 last year) so will have a totally different race, while his jockey from 12 months ago – Danny Tudhope – has deserted him in favour of another O’Meara runner – Lord Glitters. I’ve also been back to 1965 and can’t find a single back-to-back winner of the Lincoln, so Bravery would also have this trend to overcome! Back to Lord Glitters, and he’s certainly a horse that won many fans last season. He yet to finish out of the first two from his 9 turf starts (winning 4) and was last seen running a close second in the Listed race at Newmarket back in November. He’s the highest-rated in the field at 107 but as a result he’s got a monster 9-10 to carry. He’s certainly a classy individual that we’ll probably be seeing in Listed and Group races as the year moves on but with just 1 Lincoln winner carrying 9-10 in the last 32 runnings that would be a worry for me. In fact, a massive 14 of the last 15 winners (93%) won with 9-4 or less! If this is to be repeated then the top 7 on the card – including other fancied runners like Big Country, Mitchum Swagger and Ballard Down – would all have this trend as a big negative. If we add in that that ALL of the last 15 winners were aged 6 or younger then this is another key stat that knocks out three of the field, including last year’s third and fourth Donncha (7) and Gabrial (9). If you want to fine-tune the age trend then it might be worth knowing 4 year-olds have the best recent record – they’ve won 8 of the last 15.
Other key trends to note are that 12 of the last 15 winners had won between 2-4 times previously, while 13 of the last 15 had recorded victories over at least a mile in the past. With this race often run at a fair lick then proven stamina over the trip or at 1m2f is a big plus – horses stepping up from 6f or 7f have struggled in recent years.
Previous races run on the card might give us some clues to the draw bias, but with 11 of the last 15 winners coming from stalls 9 or higher then this is a fair guide – if this is to be repeated then it would at least knock out 8 of the 22 runners. Other key draw trends to take into account are that for whatever reason, horses from stalls 12 and 16 often go well. We’ve seen 9 placed (2 winners) from those berths in the last 15 years.
Despite the competitive nature of the race we’ve actually seen 3 winning favourites in the last 15 runnings but it is also worth noting we’ve seen 10 unplaced market leaders in that time too.
Also, don’t worry too much if your fancy is returning from a break as 10 of the last 15 winners did just that, while with two wins each in the last 11 runnings then trainers William Haggas and Richard Fahey are worth keeping on side.
Taking all the above into account then these horses stand out – CHELSEA LAD, NOT SO SLEEPY, LONDON PROTOCOL, GREY BRITAIN, ADDEYBB, FIRE BRIIGADE & LEADER WRITER.
If the prices allow then there is no harm firing a few bullets at the race. Of those seven the big talking horse of the week has been Fire Brigade and with Ryan Moore booked to ride then he’s sure to go of well-backed. From draw 19, this consistent 4 year-old certainly ticks most of the main trends and it’s hard to fault his chance. He’s only 4lbs higher for his last win over a mile at Leicester (Oct 17) but with another winter on his back this Michael Bell-trained runner can be expected to be a much stronger horse now. From 13 runs he’s won 4 and been placed in the top three 8 times, while he acts with a bit of give underfoot too – he looks to have a big season ahead and is a huge player here.
However, with the Haggas camp having a fine recent record in the race I’ll take their ADDEYBB to just edge it. This 4 year-old landed a decent Class Two Handicap at HQ last September and has a similar profile to Fire Brigade. That, however, did come over 1m1f so we know he stays a bit further that this 1m trip and in conditions that will help. He acts on soft ground and draw 10 should give jockey James Doyle plenty of options in the race. With just 5 career runs (3 wins) there should also be a lot more to come from this Haggas horse that will be looking to add to the yards 1992, 2007 and 2010 wins in the Lincoln.
Newbury: Three Jumps Races LIVE on ITV ……….
2.05 – Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase Cl3 3m2f ITV4
Just 7 previous runnings
6/7 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
6/7 – Placed in the top 5 last time out
6/7 – Had won between 1-2 times over fences before
6/7 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
5/7 – Aged 9 years-old
5/7 – Carried 11-2 or less in weight
5/7 – Had won over 3m (or further) before (fences)
4/7 – Had raced over fences at Newbury before
4/7 – Favourites that finished in the top 4
3/7 – Irish bred
1/7 – Winning favourites
1/7 – Won last time out
The average winning SP in the last 7 runnings is 8/1
TQ VERDICT: Some familiar names on show here. The Dan Skelton (25%) yard often do well with their chasers at the track so their Amore Alato can’t be ruled out but the yard’s overall form is not great at the moment and this 9 year-old is returning from a 419 day absence. Looking at the main stats – only 7 recent runnings but the trends are starting to build-up and they are suggesting to look for horses that raced in the last 6 weeks, were placed in the top 5 last time out and carried 11-2 or less. 9 year-olds also have a good record – winning 5 of the last 7 – while despite only one winning favourite, 6 of the 7 winners actually returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting. The Harry Fry-trained Wotzizname is sure to be popular after winning two of his last three but you feel more is needed now stepping into handicap company again (won a novice last time), while it won’t be easy lumping 11-12 round in these conditions. The 9 year-old SHANROE SANTOS was in the process of running a big race last time at Sandown when unseating his rider two out and if none-the-worse for that looks a big player. He was an easy 13 length winner the time before at Carlisle so is clearly in good heart at the moment and the fact connections have him out just 2 weeks after that unseat suggests all is well. Dawson City is another for the shortlist after an easy win at Exeter last time out. A 6lb rise looks fair for this 9 year-old and he had another runner – Thomas Patrick – 22 lengths back in fourth that day too. A weight pull in favour of Thomas Patrick should see them closer here though. Coologue and Bell ‘N’ Banjos are others that would have the form to go well here but would both need to put recent pulled-up efforts behind them. With that in mind, the safest call looks to stick with Shanroe Santos to make amends for his recent unseat and continue to fly the flag for the 9 year-olds in this race.
2.40 –Be Wiser Handicap Hurdles Cl2 2m4f ITV4
9/9 – Won no more than twice over hurdles before
9/9 – Raced in the last 4 weeks
8/9 – Favourites placed in the top three
8/9 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
7/9 – Raced 113 or higher
7/9 – Didn’t win last time out
6/9 – Carried 10-12 or more in weight
3/9 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
2/9 – Trained by Lucy Wadham
2/9 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 13/2
TQ VERDICT: The Dan Skelton camp have sent out just 1 winner from their last 35 runners (at the time of writing) – so I’d not be too keen on their Falcon Sun until we see a bit more on the track from the stable. The Rebecca Curtis yard are also only 1 from 28 with their hurdles at the track so their Nigh Or Never is another overlooked. So, the safest call here looks to be the Ben Pauling runner – OISRAKH LE NOIR – who bypassed his Cheltenham engagements last week. The yard boasts an impressive 21% overall strike-rate at the track and are 5 from 29 (17%) with their hurdlers here. This 4 year-old has caught the eye since coming over from France after running second on debut and then dotting-up by 4 1/2 lengths at Market Rasen last time. Soft ground is fine and the step up from 2m to 2m3f looks likely to bring out even more improvement. He made all last time and was value for a lot more than the final winning margin. Connections are clearly looking after him after missing Cheltenham last week and those kid gloves can hopefully pay off here and in the long term. The Munir and Souede stable jockey – Daryl Jacob also gets the leg-up. Of the rest, the Gary Moore team are going well at the moment so their Mister Chow is another to note but with just 3 hurdles winners from 55 here at Newbury their overall track stats don’t leap off the page for the right reasons. With just 10-2 the Brian Ellison-trained Haulani is respected too. He was only 10 lengths behind Redicean in a decent Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton over Christmas and on that form should make his presence felt too and rates the main danger to the selection.
3.15 – EBF & TBA Mares´ “National Hunt” Novices´ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap (Listed Race) Cl1 2m5f ITV4
12/13 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
12/13 – Won between 1-2 times before (hurdles)
9/13 – Ran in the last 4 weeks
9/13 – Returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
8/13 – Aged 6 years-old
7/13 – Won last time out
5/13 – Unplaced favourites
4/13 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
5/13 – Winning favourites
3/13 – Ran at Huntingdon last time out
2/13 – Trained by Oliver Sherwood
2/13 – Trained by Charlie Longsdon
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 9/1
The last 11 winners carried 11-3 or less in weight
9 of the last 11 winners carried 11-0 or less in weight
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 30% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Noel Williams has a 43% record (3 from 7) with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Venetia Williams is only 1 from 26 (4%) with her hurdlers at the track
Trainer Rebecca Curtis is just 1 from 28 (4%) with his hurdlers at the track
TQ VERDICT: A decent race that gives us a chance to see some nice sorts of the future. The Charlie Longsdon camp took this 12 months ago (they also won it in 2015) and try to follow-up with Jet Set. The yard is in decent order at the moment too, having several winners in the last few weeks, and this horse was running a big race last time at Sandown before falling. Out just 15 days later so clearly no issues on that front and if his jumping holds out must be respected with the stables good record in the race of late. Looking at some of the main trends – 12 of the last 13 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old so this would rule out Midnight Tune (7), Bee Crossing (7) and Lady Of Lamanver (8), while with 8 of the last 13 winners aged 6 then this age group have dominated in recent years. Yes, Midnight Tune sets a fair standard and had several of these well beaten last time but it won’t be easy with 11-10 this time. The Dan Skelton yard are struggling for winners at the moment and are just 4 from 43 (9%) with their hurdles at the track so despite catching the eye last time his hat-tricking seeking Roksana is overlooked in this much better race. Recbecca Curtis (1 from 28) is another yard with a poor strike-rate here so her consistent Just A Thought has that to overcome. The Stuart Edmond yard are going great guns at the moment and it’s nice to see them running at the bigger tracks. They have the consistent Kaloci here and that can improve for the step up in trip but it’s worth noting she’s been a beaten favourite the last twice. Jamie Snowden is having a great season and his pair Lostnfound and Kalahari Queen can go well too, with the preference for the last-named. This mare caught the eye when winning very easily at Exeter last time – certainly one for the shortlist. Paul Nicholls runs If You Say Run, who is yet to finish out of the first two from 5 starts over hurdles. He was, however, 2 ¾ lengths behind Midnight Tune last time out and, for me, probably has a bit to prove around this trip, while the Nicholls yard have only had 3 winners from their last 39 runners (at the time of writing). Petticoat Tails seems to have got her act together in recent run and heads here on a three-timer. Richard Johnson is a plus in the saddle and she clearly loves soft ground and has proven form over the trip. However, this is a step up in grade and I’m not totally convinced she’s beaten much to date. So, the two that get the nod for me are SENSULANO (e/w) from the shrewd Noel Williams yard, and SUNSHADE (e/w) who represents Nicky Henderson who has won this race 4 times in the last 13 years. The Noel Williams camp took this race in 2016 and boast an impressive 43% record with their hurdles at the track (3 from 7). This 5 year-old has a bit to find with If You Say Run and Midnight Tune after running third to that pair last time, but a 5lbs and 8lbs pull at the weights gives her a much better chance. James Bowen has been booked to ride Sunshade for Nicky Henderson and that looks significant with the Seven Barrows maestro using Bowen, and his 3lb claim, a lot this season. Yes, this 5 year-old was well beaten last time but that was behind the useful Maria’s Benefit, plus did have excuses. The rider lost an iron when the horse blundered badly so the 45 length margin was very flattering on the winner. Connections have given her 3 months to get over that and would have had this race as a firm target for some time. She’s won over 2m 2 ½f so this trip looks within range and – as mentioned – the Henderson team seem to love winning this race.
THAT’S YOUR LOT!!!
Have a GREAT Weekend