4.05 Thirsk: Class 3 Handicap, 5f
I’m quite keen on Dakota Gold here who ran four times as a juvenile and showed plenty of promise when winning a pretty decent maiden at Hamilton following up with a really good fifth in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in his final start in 2016.
Given the three year old Equiano son was a late April foal you would expect him to progress as a three year old He drops in trip today, first time over 5f and that could be exactly what he wants. He has a super draw and might use the bit extra stamina to his advantage with a canny front-running performance?
Interestingly his sire has an excellent record with three year old’s dropping down to the minimum trip. Also on the ratings front he is set up for progress. He already ran to an RPR of 81, so if natural improvement kicks in and he is ready to go on his seasonal debut then a mark of 79 could easily underestimate him.
10pts win – Dakota Gold @ 12/1 Bet365
6.30 Nottingham: Maiden Stakes, 10f
The Sea The Stars colt Crystal Ocean at the top of the market looks really exciting and could be too good for the rest in this field, but the equally very well bred Godolphin runner Forever Song might well be in the same category.
Forever Song is by Dubawi and a full-brother to the very useful Whispering Gallery, a Group 3 winner and rated a 112 on the flat. He was also a very sharp on his debut, winning first time out and subsequently two good handicaps.
This lad has a Derby entry so there is a chance that this debut race is more like an educational run, but I am be rather confident in his sharpness and race fitness given that William Buck heading over from Newbury in the afternoon for this single ride.
10pts win – Forever Song @ 7/1 Bet365
8.00 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 5f
Competitive little race but bottom weight The Big Short could easily exploit a possibly lenient mark here. He showed that he is not useless in a couple of races last season, finishing in the money without winning.
He was, however, a mid-March foal and looked often sluggish with a huge frame to fill that would need a bit of time. He appears scopey and one that will improve as a three year old, no doubt.
There are slight worries about the fast ground and the widest draw, but that aside Franny Norton makes the journey here on his sole ride at Nottingham and he has an impressive strike rate in this scenario.
10pts win – The big Short @ 7/1 Bet 365