Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's action.
Rachel Richardson is enjoying a good season and she has been on fire this week with three runners on the board since Monday. It won’t be long before she loses her 3lb claim at this rate and it might happen at Haydock this evening as she has double prospects.
She gets the leg up on HIGH ON LIGHT in the 1m6f handicap and the David Barron-trained filly would not be winning out of turn after a string of good efforts in 2017 following a dead-heat success on the sand at Newcastle last December.
Her only disappointing effort since came back at Newcastle in February after which she was given a well deserved break. Returning to action at Beverley in June, she was beaten a short head on ground that would have been plenty fast enough for her and she followed that with a respectable third back on the all-weather last time.
The handicapper has given her a chance by leaving her on the same mark and that makes her a leading player here as she is proven over this far and will relish the softer conditions better than some of her rivals.
Richardson may well complete her double on the same stable’s GRANNY ROZ in the closing 5f fillies’ handicap against six rivals, most of whom are more exposed.
The selection is the only three-year-old runner in the field and she has really found her stride on her last two starts having been beaten a long way into second on her handicap debut at Redcar in June. Dropped 8lb after that run, she wasted no time in taking advantage when going one better at Ripon on soft ground and was then only beaten half a length when bidding to follow up off a 5lb higher mark at Doncaster last time.
Off the same mark here and with Richardson claiming 3lb off her back (assuming she hasn’t already lost her claim), she must take plenty of beating in her current frame of mind and with her stable continuing to churn out winners.
The 7f nursery on the card can go to the Richard Guest-trained bottom-weight FOXRUSH TAKE TIME, who is quickly returning to action after a short second on his nursery debut at Ffos Las (7.3f, heavy) eight days ago, when just held by the winner and nicely clear of the rest.
That was a big improvement on his first three efforts and it wasn’t unexpected as he was well backed beforehand. He’s sure to go up a fair bit when reassessed so it’s no surprise that his shrewd handler is attempting to strike while the iron is hot and with the ground is still in his favour. His booking of Jimmy Quinn catches the eye too as the lightweight jockey is 3-6 on the stable runners in the last five seasons for a £1 level-stakes profit of £11.75.
Bookmakers prefer the chances of Veejay, who ran into trouble when well beaten in a Goodwood nursery last week, and Rhosneigr, who was getting off the mark at the third attempt at Ffos Las 17 days ago, despite not looking straightforward. They are respected of course but neither look as well treated as the selection, who is getting 20lb and 16lb respectively from the pair and can make that huge weight concession count.
UPDATE – the selection is out to 11/1 – so it’s a good job the original 15/2 is Best Odds Guaranteed – but I haven’t gone off him. If you’re not already on, there’s scope to back him each-way now.