Nottingham stages an eight race card this afternoon and it could be worth siding with a couple of trainers who do well at the track.
Mick Appleby has his string in fine form and he could be amongst the winners at Nottingham this afternoon, with his MOONADEE a strong fancy in the extended mile handicap (due off 4.30pm).
The three-year-old son of Haatef showed next to nothing in three runs for Barry Hills last season, so it was a little surprising to see him run so well at Doncaster on his stable / handicap debut just eight days ago. Held up off the pace, he made steady headway at halfway and looked to have every chance approaching the final furlong. At the finish, though, he couldn’t get past the race-fit and rapidly improving Rocco’s Delight, who proved three-quarters of a length too good, with a five-length gap back to the third.
That run gives him strong form claims here and, given the way he was keeping on at the finish, today’s extra furlong should prove ideal. Appleby, who does well with other trainer’s cast-offs, is clearly striking while the iron is hot and his record at the track is eye-catching, with 22 of his 112 runners here in the past five seasons ending up in the winner’s enclosure. If you’d backed all his runners, you would have ended up with a £1 level-stakes profit of £71.63.
He could also be on the mark in the closing 5f handicap (5.35pm) with OIL STRIKE, who hinted at a return to peak form when finishing third on the all-weather last time out, when attempting to give weight away to an improver who won again on his next start. The selection has clearly had his problems as he raced just a couple of times in 2014, but he did win back-to-back handicaps in the summer of 2013 – off handicap marks of 68 and 74 – and he lines up today off 66. The booking of Jamie Spencer is another positive sign.
Another trainer who does well at the Midlands venue is John Mackie and his sole runner this afternoon, HURRY HOME POPPA, looks worth an interest in the 2m handicap (3.00pm), a race the trainer won 12 months ago. The five-year-old never seems to run a bad race, which can’t be said for many of his rivals, and has gone well here in the past with his form figures at the track reading ‘132’. That latest runner-up effort was over 1m6f, but he’s won over this distance and runs off the same mark this afternoon. Paul Hanagan is an interesting jockey booking and the 7/2 on offer looks more than fair given the doubts over his rivals.