12.50 Lingfield: Class 6 Apprentice Handicap, 1m 6f
Favourite Wanaasah won under an enterprising ride in sensational style recently here at Wolverhampton over a few furlongs longer. She should go well again, albeit, under a 5lb penalty and with most likely not given an uncontested lead things will be more difficult.
I am interested in Mark Johnston’s Grenadier Guard. Clearly a talented individual; clearly one with quirks who’s gone wrong at the same time.
He is tried in a visor for the first time today. I am not pinning solely my hope on that piece of headgear, but it may well help the gelding to focus better. I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that he needed his last two runs after a break potentially; certainly a first start at Southwell is always something to forgive.
He drops down to a mile and six furlongs, which looks a more suitable trip. At the same time Grenadier Guard continues to fall in the mark. He showed promise last summer on turf when running to some good level of form, winning at Haydock and following up with a fine 2nd in a competitive Novices race.
That day he also ran to a 85 topspeed rating which looks believable. Hence there is a bit of talent that is better than a January class 5 Handicap at Wolverhampton. I take the risk and give Grenadier Guard another chance to live somewhat up to last summers promise.
10pts win – Grenadier Guard @ 10.5/1 MB
6.55 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f
Top weight Smiley Bagel drops in class back into a class 5 Handicap – the last time he ran in a similar contest he won off 2lb lower a shade cozily. This will be his third start after long break also.
Draw a line through his comeback run, however next time at Lingfield he was far from disgraced in a hot race that looks solid form franked through the runner-up, behind a well handicapped winner.
While Smiley Bagel may be better suited to Lingfield, the gelding is also a CD winner. He’s handicapped to go close, but it seems significant that a good 7lb claimer takes the ride who comes here for this one ride only.
Oliver Stammers has ridden Ed Walker mounts five times so far, having been placed four times (plus one winner). He looks good value for his claim and gives Smiley Bagel a good chance, as long as he gets a run, as the draw isn’t ideal.
10pts win – Smiley Bagel @ 12/1 PP
2.30 York: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f
Two three year old fillies stand out in this field: Distain is the first one. She didn’t quite stay the 1m 5f trip at Chester the last time, but now dropped back to 10f she could be a real force. I was impressed with her change of gear when getting off the mark at Redcar in a maiden on only her second start. 10f here at flat York in a big handicap with a hot pace, she could be ideally suited and better than her current rating off 80.
Bottom weight Pamushana is equally one who could have easily more to offer. She is on a potentially very lenient mark after following up on an ultra impressive maiden success with a strong 3rd place in a better class at Nottingham last month. She looks big and scopey, apparently progressing well this season and wit handy weight and draw a big chance in this race.
Pamushana @ 8/1 Betfred – 5pts Win
Distain @ 10/1 Coral – 5pts Win
5.10 York: Class 4 Apprentice Handicap, 1m 4f
His most recent Newmarket performance was too bad to be true, so one may forgive Endless Credit that poor run and better judge him on his excellent runner-up performances before. If he could run to that sort of form, he’ll be in with a big chance, given that he has the perfect draw for his positive running style.
A mark off 69 seems high enough, though; yet seen in the contest of the jockey booking, seems less of a problem. Young Fitzpatrick claims valuable 5lb and is very much worth every single pound. He’s riding out of his skin at the moment and is clearly a talented young jockey – that’s a bonus in this type of race.
Endless Credit @ 14/1 VC – 5pts Win
5.00 Lingfield: Class 5 Apprentice Handicap, 6f
Top weight Angel Flores makes plenty of appeal from a good draw if he enjoys the soft ground. A better alternative is Mrs Warren who gets a chance from the handicapper. Not disgraced at Galway recently, the drop to 6f suits, she loves every drop of rain in the ground, has a good draw and will be competitive off her current mark. Big chance.
Mrs Warren @ 9/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win