Our racing guru is hoping this trio of runners can boost the weekend betting bank.
Trainer Keith Dalgleish doesn’t send many horses to Market Rasen from his Lanarkshire base – 0-1 here since 2011 – so it could be that he’s spotted a good opportunity for his AWAY FOR SLATES, who contests the 2m4f handicap hurdle (due off 3.30pm).
The six-year-old, who came from Irish point-to-points, has gradually been finding his feet since joining his current stable and was winning at the fifth time of asking over 2m3f at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day, having run well on his handicap debut at Sedgefield just six days previously. Connections were worried the race may come too soon but he responded well to a patient ride and having taken it up after jumping the last, he found a bit extra in a battle up the straight to surge clear by three and a quarter lengths.
Today’s extra furlong should therefore present no problem and the handicapper may have erred on the generous side by only raising him 6lb, with the majority of that taken care of by his rider Ryan Day’s 5lb claim. Certainly, he has the potential to be rated a good deal higher than his current mark of 121 before the season ends, given he looked far from the polished article last time and can only keep on improving. Bookmakers somewhat surprisingly prefer the hat-trick seeking Cotillion but it was only a seller he won at Fakenham last time and the selection looks far more progressive.
Dalgleish also runs MOON ARC in the closing handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys (4.00pm) and it would be no surprise to see the four-year-old step up considerably on what he’s shown in three hurdle starts now he goes handicapping. A dual winner on the flat, he clearly has some ability and this race will not take much winning. Furthermore, his rider Craig Nichol is having a cracking season and has a healthy 18% (5-28) strike rate on the stable runners. The 12/1 on offer looks generous and any market support would only fuel confidence.
I was sweet on the chances of the Les Eyre-trained Boxing Shadows in a 5f handicap at Lingfield last week and the six-year-old duly obliged, ending a long losing run in the process. The six-year-old escapes a penalty for that success and will be a warm order now returned to that track and trip this afternoon (4.10pm), with 7lb claimer Harry Burns renewing the partnership.
However, this is his third quick run and, with his trainer expressing concerns over that, he could be worth taking on, with SECRET MILLIONAIRE the suggested alternative. Shaun Harris’ charge went down by only half a length here last time, despite running too freely, and has won off considerably higher marks than today’s 56, including over course and distance. The stable had a well-backed winner in Fujin at Southwell yesterday and Justin Newman takes a handy 5lb off his back, so there’s plenty to like about his chances.