Friday Selections: 10th March 2023

1.40 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

A really poor 0-52 Handicap of the lowest grade. This could be an excellent opportunity for veteran Dapper Man to enjoy a perfect race from the #1 draw.

He seemed to hit some good form lately, especially when last seen over the straight five at Southwell.

There he tracked the pace and the eventual winner early on, got outpaced halfway through, before he had to switch due to traffic problems. He got going again and ran on really well against the unfavourable stands’ side rail.

In my view he was far from disgraced in his last four runs since return to the All-Weather. That is backed up by speed ratings as he ran to 50 last time out and 52 four runs back, suggesting he is at a level that should give him a good chance in this field.

I feel he may enjoy the return to race around a bend over the minimum trip, especially this course and distance where has a 2-1-1 record.

From the #1 draw he should get to the lead without an issue, and has then the option to either go for it or taking the lead of the potential pace pressure that will have to do a lot from outside draws to get there, though.

10pts win – Dapper Man @ 9/2


6.00 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

It’s interesting that Gobi Sunset drops back in trip to 6 furlongs. Even though possibly more thought of as a 7 furlongs specialist, two of his three career wins came over this trip for a 7-2-2 record.

Gobi Sunset’s career-best speed rating also was achieved over 6 furlongs on the All-Weather. So the drop in trip is as intriguing as it makes sense.

He will find this class easier as well. There is a chance that 0-95 and 0-85 level is a little bit too hot form him. Nonetheless, he ran with a lot of credit in the three runs since returning from a 260 day break.

He only tired late after attempting to make all on his reappearance at Wolverhampton, and I was really impressed how easily he finished last time out, posting the fastest final furlong split.

The inexperienced 7lb claimer is a question mark. On the other hand, Archie Young looked pretty solid in the sole ride he had recently.

The low draw suits to move forward if reverted back to attacking tactics. He was perhaps a little slow away, but not helped by a rival either, and perhaps it was also somewhat by design, when restrained in rear last time out.

There is plenty of pace here. I feel this can suit. If this is a test of stamina his extra bit of 7 furlongs stamina will be an asset late in the race.

10pts win – Gobi Sunset @ 7/1


8.30 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I loved Eastern Star’s gutsy performance at this venue last week. The idiosyncrasies of the British handicapping system have her race off 2lb lower here over a better trip, despite finishing a fine runner-up.

Last week she grabbed the lead and set seriously hot pace early on. As a consequence she had the field on the stretch, still going well turning for home. From 2 furlongs out she came severely under pressure but it was impressive how she pulled out more and fought back gamely.

A mile clearly stretches her. She also hasn’t won on the All-Weather or 7 furlongs yet in her long career, but I think she stays 7 furlongs, and has two placed efforts from two tries over this course and distance, including her career-best speed rating of 56, which came exactly 12 days ago to this day in exactly the same type of race over this C&D.

Her most recent effort clearly shows she is in serious form as well. Having the opportunity to race off 46 this one time, 2lb lower than lto, and where her mark is going back to again after this, in a very winnable contest, she looks to have a prime chance for a first victory on the sand.

10pts win – Eastern Star @ 9/2

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