The lucky last yet again? A pretty horrible race this is which leaves the chance open for either of the three generally lightly raced three year olds to improve to a level good enough to land this.
I go with proven “class” though. Manomine makes unusually big appeal in a race like this. The gelding had only two starts today and could better for those runs now. He also drops in class and has seen his handicap mark slipping to a handy enough rating off 67.
He has won off a bit higher in the past on the All-Weather and was placed off 71 in a good class 4 handicap last September. He’ll have to run to that sort of form today in order to see the three year olds and their weight advantage of, but I feel he can do it with a top jockey in the saddle. Track should suit him well.
Be Lucky was lucky yesterday at Pontefract. He won the race in a photo and ensured it was another day in profit – albeit a very small one. Byzantium was a non-runner.
7.25 Chelmsford: Conditions Stakes, 1m
Strange little race. Hard to know what to expect from any of these. There is hardly and positive form on offer, and the unknown factor of the Chelmsford polytrack is another point adding to the intrigue of this race.
By no means I can have the favourite here. Yes, Algaith is a 3yo and may have an advantage through weight for age but he hasn’t shown enough to warrant him backing at a short price, considering the trip may just too far him after all.
Maftool might enjoy the deep surface here. Hard to know whether he is in the same form as he was at Meydan earlier this year. He also has to give weight away, which is never easy for 3yo against older horses.
Hard to fancy Calling Out either. You have to hope for plenty of improvement. Castlelyons may surprise. But the value here is certainly Baltic Night, who has performed with credit on the All-Weather in the past, usually does well on a deeper surface on turf and has been mostly competitive this year. 1m can stretch his stamina, but this small field should play perfectly to his strength.
A really competitive sprint handicap on the Dundalk All-Weather with 107 rated Russian Soul topping the field. However not many seem to be well handicapped today. Certainly not the three top weights.
Progressive Have A Nice Day is a fair favourite, given he has been in splendid form lately and may still be on the upward. The drop in trip is against him though. Consistent Master Speaker has found a way to get his head in front this year. Can he do it again? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Togoville loves it on the All-Weather. The trip should be too sharp but off his current mark he has a chance if he could lead at a pace that suits him. Ger Lyons’ Trinity Force responded well to the change in trip and first time blinkers the last time. He can be competitive today again, although his trainer voiced slight concerns over the slow surface.
I’m most intrigued by old boy An Saighdiur who may have found a good opportunity to score. He certainly acts around here, is is a course specialist who’s best over 6f and while he didn’t set the world alight in recent weeks, he’s dropped to a dangerous mark. He was a good 3rd in a Naas Handicap earlier this year off an 8lb higher mark. So I feel he is overpriced today.
An Saighdiur @ 14/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win
4.15 Dundalk: Handicap, 1m 2f 150y
Despite a wide draw and the drop in trip potentially not quite suitable, Botany Bay makes appeal to me big time. Forgive him his latest run, he is better judged on his penultimate start when winning a hot Handicap at Down Royal, which is extremely strong form given how it worked out subsequently. Botany Bay is still learning the game could have easily more offer from his current mark.
Tricky affair but freshly gelded Commodore could be the answer, despite a bad draw. He was unlucky not to win at Sandown on his penultimate start. Subsequently failed to deliver off his revised mark at Newmarket, though didn’t have the run of the race going for himself.
He can be better than that and now switched to the All-Weather should suit. Going against older horses shouldn’t be an issue but the weight for age allowance can make a huge difference in a race that lacks depth. He probably doesn’t need to improve allot to be in the shake-up, but the fact that sons of Kodiac often show dramatic improvements for being gelded, there is every chance he can be a big runner tonight.
A very competitive little race – you could easily make a case for each and everyone. However from a price point of view Light And Shade is overpriced in my book. He’s potentially well exposed compare to others, but that says he has the right form in the book and is likely to run to his mark.
What is interesting though is the fact that he is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time. He has has a tendency of hanging as well as carrying his head high. So in addition to a noseband, he’ll be fitted with CP today.
He won really well on his penultimate start, overcoming all these issues and he wasn’t disgraced at all when last seen. Not all too well positioned, he stayed on late and it is not out of this world that he is capable of doing better and finding more improvement with the headgear potentially having a big impact.
In that respect it is noteworthy that Aqlaam offspring usually does extremely well with cheek-pieces.
This a poor affair as you would expect in this class but it is noteworthy that Mr. Donohoe brings a horse over from Ireland for this race. He has a history doing so and has been rather successful in recent years, so one would think there is a reason why Virile is going to post at Newcastle tonight.
The four year old gelding has been racing on the UK All-Weather a couple of times earlier in his career, with career best achieved at Wolverhampton when 2nd in a decent maiden behind a good winner. Since then he has been seen largely in Ireland but wasn’t up to his marks.
However he looked far more into in his last two starts when he travelled notably well for a long time. He has been dropped to a career lowest mark nonetheless and will have the additional benefit of the 7lb claim of an apprentice in the saddle. I believe he could be seriously well handicapped in this field today for this reason.
Favourite Up In Lights is potentially very well handicapped on his debut in this company, and the weight for age allowance is a clear bonus. He may well hack up. But I believe there is massive value on Man Of Harlech, who could be a very potent threat here.
This will be the third run after a long break, during which he was gelded. He clearly needed his first run but was quite unlucky the next time at Sandown when poorly positioned and a clear run denied. However he finished very strongly with seemingly plenty left in the tank.
He drops in grade now, and this potentially easier opposition should help him to defy top weight. He is very nicely bred and comes from a family that does exceptionally well on the All-Weather. So the switch to this surface can be only in his favour today. At 9/2 he is an excellent alternative to the rather shortish favourite in my mind.