Our resident tipster is hopeful of boosting the weekend betting bank with a couple of handicap selections.
David O’Meara does well with other trainer’s cast-offs and it’s only a matter of time before he gets a win into REX IMPERATOR.
The six-year-old is having his fourth start for the stable in this afternoon’s 7f handicap at York (3.40pm) and he signalled his winning turn was nigh when finishing an unlucky third at Thirsk last time. With a clear run he may well have won that race and there can’t be a better handicapped horse in this race. Rated as high as 110 after winning the 2013 Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood, he has tumbled down to a mark of just 84 and, while he’s never going to be a prolific winner and needs plenty to to go his way, this does look an ideal opportunity with the ground and trip ideal.
O’Meara is making a habit of winning this race, sending out Smarty Socks and Alejandro to land the last two renewals and, like the selection, they were rated in the 80s. He does complicate matters slightly by also running He’s No Saint and Regal Dan, but the selection, who is the mount of David Nolan, looks the one to be on.
Newmarket based Michael Wigham does well with his small string and is particularly adept at bringing his charges back to form after a spell in the doldrums. That’s exactly what is required with CHAIN OF EVENTS as the eight-year-old has hardly been setting the world on fire in a couple runs this season. That has resulted in a further drop in the weights, though, and there was a hint in his last run at Newmarket, where he stayed on into sixth, that he was about to take advantage.
This is certainly his time of year as he rattled off a hat-trick between May and June last season, culminating in victory in this race off a 3lb higher mark than today’s. This has probably been his target all along and the trainer knows the time of day when it comes to placing his older horses at the track last, with three of his five runners obliging in the last five seasons. Hayley Turner comes in for the ride and she clearly knows how to get a good tune out of the gelding, having steered him to a couple of his seven victories on turf. What’s more, he’s big enough at 14/1 for an each-way interest.