2.25 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 16.5f
Bottom weight Almoghared drops down into this right from an excellent performance in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot – form that has been franked by the superb winner subsequently.
Almoghared didn’t have a chance but until the final furlong marker was still right in the game. He probably isn’t quite up to that standard and doesn’t look a fast horse. So the step up to this marathon trip on handicap debut looks a good move.
The jury is out, however. His maiden win at Chepstow is worth nothing, though he was incredibly green that day and today marks only his fourth career start. Given Almoghared is superbly well bred there is every chance he can pull out more against older horses now, leveraging a handy WFA allowance.
10pts win – Almoghared @ 6/1 PP
5.50 Ripon: Class 5 Maiden Handicap, 6f
Cobalty Isle must have a cracking chance if he can find back to anything close of his best form. He’s dropped dramatically in the mark after a string of bad performances, though noteworthy he was an excellent 4th in a red hot Wolverhampton Handicap back in March of a 9lb higher mark than today.
He showed promise as as a juvenile, ran to a TS rating of 61 on debut and poses a top RPR of 78. He must go close here with conditions to suit.
That is if there isn’t anything totally wrong with him. Cheek-pieces and tongue tie applied the last time are a concern. The same headgear is on today. Nonetheless at given prices he is a cracking value bet in my book – if he can find back some form.
10pts win – Cobalty Isle @ 16/1 VC
6.30 Haydock: Novice Stakes, 7f
Line Of Duty is the obvious one here, but he is a super short price. Also an expensive yearling is Massam, though, who equally was not quite the luckiest one as Line Of Duty was on their respective debuts.
Massam showed allot of greenness at Chelmsford earlier this month after getting tied up in a battle for the early speed right after the start. He didn’t get the clearest of runs turning for home either and was hanging toward the far rail in the home straight too.
He should have learned plenty that day and has allot of scope to improve dramatically for that experience. Whether he is quite good enough to be beat the favourite remains to be seen.
10pts win – Massam @ 6/1 MB
7.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 10f
Things have slowed down a bit for excellent apprentice Ger O’Neill but it looks significant that he has this one ride today on veteran Save The Bees who has dropped to a tasty mark after a rather poor campaign this year so far.
However, down to a mark of 72, with conditions to suit and a visor r-fitted to sharpen him up, Save The Bees looks dangerous if he can find a bit of form. The 5lb claimed by O’Neill are worth every single pound, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ten year old gelding in the shake up tonight.
10pts win – Save The Bees @ 14/1 PP
7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 6f
Competitive race where a case can be made for pretty much all of these. I feel Ralf Beckett’s gelding Raskolnikov is overpriced, though on the back of one poor effort when he had excuses last time.
Judged by his first two career starts at Bath beforehand, on the other hand, his form does not look too different from what the market leaders have achieved to date.
This son of Excelebration has nicely improved from a physical point of view since his debut and his fourth and fifth place finishes in April and May where quite good form given how those races have worked out since then.
An opening mark of 67 could underestimate his true merit now stepping up to more suitable 6f also.
10pts win – Raskolnikov @ 6/1 PP
8.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 5f
Sitar hasn’t been firing in a light campaign to date, however she drops to a dangerous mark 3lb lower than her last winning mark. Conditions are unlikely to pose an issue, despite her two career wins achieved with a bit of cut in the ground.
She has the assistance of red hot Ben Curtis and offers much better value than odds-on favourite Boundary Lane.
10pts win – Sitar @ 6/1 PP