4.20 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 10f
Clive Cox’s Ghazan makes his handicap- and season debut today. He steps up to 10f for the first time as well. The colt showed a good deal of promise in three starts as a juvenile in the second half of last year.
Particular his final run, when 3rd in a Nottingham maiden looks particularly strong form. The race certainly worked out well.
With natural improvement likely to come for experience and the new trip, I feel a mark off 75 might underestimate him – granted Ghazan is ready to go today.
10pts win – Ghazan @ 8/1 VC
5.00 Redcar: Class 5 Handicap, 6f
Rickyroadboy is in superb form since the start of the turf season. He won two and been in the money the other two starts, most recently a good fortnight ago in a big Thirsk handicap.
He looks like the sort still capable of progressing a bit further. He has the benefit of the 1 draw today which ensure pole position, as long as he starts, well which he usually does.
The ground is the only slight question mark. His wins came with cut in the ground, although his recent runner-up performance came on fast ground. Either way, Rickyroadboy is a clear favourite in my book.
10pts win – Rickyroadboy @ 7/2 WH
6.20 Brighton: Class 4 Handicap, 7f
Artic Sea is the only colt in a competitive race dominated by geldings and a few fillies. The fact connections haven’t decided to go down the most drastic route, means they must see something at home that make them belief he could still improve.
Fact is he is down to a lowly mark, only a pound higher than winning over a mile at Chepstow last May. He’s ran over further on plenty of occasions subsequently, so the drop to 7f is a gamble.
Ground should suit, though, and first time blinkers may eke out a bit of improvement. Expect Artic Sea to go from the front and use his stamina to hold off any challengers. Interesting this is the only runner saddled for trainer Paul Cole and the only ride for Raul da Silva today.
The combination of interesting track/trip/ground conditions, a fair looking mark and a small field possibly to be dominated from the front for a jockey/trainer combo that has had quite a bit of success in the past, I feel Artic Sea is a worthy favourite in this race.
10pts win – Arctic Sea @ 4/1 Skybet