2.35 York: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f
On last season form Ad Libitum is an obvious chance here today, now with a run under his belt, he’ll strip fitter I reckon. With that in mind, his reappearance at Thirsk a fortnight ago is one I happily excuse.
Ad Libitum won twice last year and ran well in defeat a number of times as well. Most importantly is he was able to match his current handicap mark twice in terms of time speed ratings, running to 74 and 76, as well as winning of a 77 handicap a 12f a class 4 handicap at Ripon.
He certainly enjoys fast ground, posting a 25% strike rate and having been placed in four out of eight starts.
10pts win – Ad Libitum @ 9/1 MB
2.55 Chester: Class 2 Handicap, 7.5f
Super competitive race: more than half the field in with a fair shout. At the bigger prices bottom weight Arcanada makes a lot of appeal, though, even though he hasn’t won on turf for a number of years now.
Nonetheless, his overall form profile looks still highly competitive, and the surface isn’t an issue. More the fact that he found life tough in hot races, racing of high marks.
Arcanada has now dropped to a tasty mark of 88 – on turf alone he has ran to TS ratings of 90+ on five occasions throughout his career and he matched a 89 TS rating last December winning a Listed contest on the All-Weather.
The 6-year-old is a course specialist also, having a 50% strike rate here. His draw is wider than ideal for his running style, but with a visor fitted for the first time and a good 5lb claimer on board I hope he can bounce out of the gates and then hold on for the lead.
10pts win – Arcanada @ 25/1 MB
6.50 Salisbury: Class 5 Maiden Stakes, 6f
It’s a small sample size, but Kyllachy offspring have a fabulous record in Salisbury maiden races over the years. His offspring generally performs well here, particularly the 3-year-olds.
That is the reason why I am interested in his daughter Twilighting in this particular race. She amplifies the sire angle with an encouraging debut run herself coincidentally.
A fortnight ago at Lingfield she didn’t have the best of starts, was subsequently badly outpaced but found her rhytm from 4f out and looked suddently threatening over 2f out. The early effort to catch up took its tool eventually, but she ran pretty well in these circumstances until the final furlong marker.
The fast ground looks sure to suit today with a good jockey in the saddle, Twilighting could be well capable outrunning her price tag.
6pts win – Twilighting @ 22/1 MB
Edit: This has been absolutely smashed in the betting since writing the post, is now joint second favourite!
7.20 Salisbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f
Airton looks ready for a big run on his return to the flat for the first time since October. He clearly thrives over fast ground and stays this distance without an issue.
He won of his current mark a similar contest over 2 miles at Catterick last Summer – a piece of form that looks strong.
Over this sort of trip and ground Airton has achieved multiple 80+ RPR’s as well as having run to a career best TS rating of 79, which he also achieved on the All-Weather. As he ran to a 83 RPR when winning the last time, which isn’t that long ago, it suggests with the right conditions, of his current mark Airton can be a big runner in this class and type of race.
Having fine Finley Marsh on board claiming 3lb is the cherry on the cake, I feel.
10pts win – Airton @ 7/2 PP