1.45 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f
Only three horses that realistically appear to be handicapped to go close here in my book: the short priced favourite, only his second AW start could defy the slight rise in the weights for his winning debut in autumn with a first tongue tie applied this time.
Trallee Hills is dropping down to a rather manageable mark if he could translate his turf form to the sand. Certainly Nylon Speed is the more interesting individual, but no value at given prices.
Really the most compelling case can be made for top weight Dutch Uncle. He changed yards over the summer after a pretty decent – albeit winless – winter campaign, mostly at Lingfield over 10f, finishing 3 out of 6 times in the money in much more competitive races than this one here.
A run to blow the cobwebs away on his Olly Murphy Debut, was followed by a much improved display in an Apprentice Seller at the end of last month. Obviously he was well entitled to win that one.
He did it in style, hard on the bridle. Judged through the runner-up this form looks good and proves Dutch Uncle is as good as ever, certainly on nearly the same level of form as last winter.
That is good, because he stays over 12f at Lingfield, a trip he’s not been racing often over, but he’s got a 2:1-2 record over. The most recent outing wasn’t the fastest race, but the way he saw it out incredibly strongly, accelerating easily without breaking sweat in the final two furlongs suggesting this could be his ideal trip round Lingfield, a place he always performs well at.
Dutch Uncle doesn’t need to improve to win this, he simply needs to run to his mark – which, he is well capable of seemingly.
10pts win – Dutch Uncle @ 7/1 VC
5.15 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile
More often than not I get it wrong when saying it – of course, this is horse racing, it’s hard to be overly confident – but I’m excited as heck because I feel Blue Harmony could be supremely well handicapped in this race!
The equation is a simple one: the filly has been dropped dramatically in her handicap mark, mainly on the basis of a string of poor showings which – in my view – came on the back of marks too high as a result of her maiden win and a couple of subsequent decent handicap efforts. It took a while to get the weight down.
But now, second third for a new yard after a bit of a break, she drops to a more realistic distance plus got another few pounds off thanks her most recent 7th place finish at Wolverhampton.
Looking back at race, for the first time of a rather realistic mark, but probably a trip still too far, things didn’t go to plan early on when the inexperienced apprentice jockey removed the hood way too late, the filly bumped into a couple of horses and was lit up.
She dropped over the next furlongs back in the field, finding herself turning wider than ideal for home and when attempting to make a run, she lost her footing, stumbling, losing all momentum.
She still managed to finish 7th in quite a hot contest – the form has worked out rather well for that type of low grade race.
Now down to a mark of 53, one has to remember Blue Harmony has been running to a TS 69 rating in the past and to RPR’s over 53 on on six out of nine occasions on the All-Weather.
Even more significantly she gets the assistance of competent 5lb claimer Megan Nicholls and has the additional aid of a good draw. The price on offer is way over the top I feel given how well this filly could be handicapped.
10pts win – Blue Harmoney @ 15/1 VC/PP