+8.00 Leicester: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 7f
Big field, highly competitive – normally not a race I would be particularly drawn to. Says, Amanda Perrett’s filly Flirtare catches my eye in many different ways.
The Oasis Dream daughter tries the flush green turf for the first time after showing promise on the All-Weather in four starts.
She finished middle of the pack on handicap debut at Kempton last months, however she came across to challenge the lead from a wide draw early on and travelled always wide. The fact she actually led briefly over a furlong out is credit to her, I feel. She faded away eventually, but this was a promising run.
Two pounds off the mark, now on turf, this lightly raced filly is fitted with first time blinkers ad a hood as well. If that in combination can eke out a little bit of improvement then Flirtare is in with a more than decent shout.
10pts win – Flirtare @ 20/1 PP
2.20 Ripon: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs
Currently trading as favourite, I believe there is good reason to believe indeed, that Sir Derrick can get off the mark today.
The gelding has ran with promise in his two starts this season, now that he’s eligible for a handicap mark. Soft ground was probably not ideal on those occasions and the 7f trip stretched him the last time.
However, as a late May foal he is due to come into his own and looks certain to improve dropped to 6f again now on fast ground. With a small ease in the weights as well, Sir Derrick seems poised for a big run.
10pts win – Sir Derrick @ 4/1 PP
2.15 Lingfield: Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, 1m 2f
The market principles with form on their side haven’t achieved an awful lot. Twice a runner-up, Cosmic Love sets a fair standard but looks vulnerable enough to be opposed.
The look of Godolphin newcomer Duchess Of Berry appeals to me. She is very well bred, related to some smart individuals and given she was a February foal should be – in theory – forward enough at this stage of the season.
The Appleby yard tends to have their newcomers ready for the first day at school. The record, particularly in spring, is excellent. So it’s easy to take a chance on this filly in a winnable race.
10pts win – Duchess Of Berry @ 11/2 Matchbook
Back in the winner’s circle after two rotten days: Slunovrat (3/1) went on to win at Nottingham in a thriller.
4.30 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 6f
Top weight Dandy Highwayman looks potentially overpriced dropping into a slightly easier race than when 10th at Ripon recently. That day he didn’t have things to go for himself with a wall of horses in front of him either.
However, Dandy Highwayman showed last season that he is capable to run to forms warranting his current rating off 82. He’s 2lb higher than his last winning mark but was really consistent last season where most of his races that he ran well in worked out quite well also.
The soft ground is a slight question mark – he has form with cut in the ground, so might be okay, though, ground as deep as today he only encountered once, which was the race a fortnight ago at Ripon.
A wider than ideal draw will make things not easy today. There is no doubt that a career best is required to win. Nonetheless, given he is capable to run to this sort of level, was consistent last year and is in a grade he can win in, I feel he is quite a massive price.
10pts win – Dandy Highwayman @ 25/1 VC / ***Non-Runner***
4.35 Nottingham: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f
Slunovrat makes plenty of appeal on his seasonal reappearance. He runs very well as a fresh horse, though he did not have a lot of racing last season. He was a long way beaten in his last two starts, however those came in really hot contests.
On his seasonal reappearance last year he finished a strong 2nd at Sandown over 1m 6f. That form works out quite well and off a same handicap mark today, in what looks an easier contest, I feel Slunovrat has a prime chance.
The soft conditions hold no fears to him. His record with cut in the ground is excellent. Jim Crowley in the saddle is a big bonus for this yard and at this track.
10pts win – Slunovrat @ 3/1 Matchbook