Our in-form resident tipster fancies a trio of runners this afternoon, including a big-priced contender in the nursery at Ayr.
There a number of impossible-looking handicaps at Ayr this afternoon and there are better bets to be found elsewhere (read on), but I can’t resist a crack at the 6f nursery (due off 2.30pm) with a big-priced winner the lure.
It’s the sort of race the bookmakers love with 18 seemingly closely handicapped two-year-olds set to go to post. Several bring winning form to the table, but not the selection CANDY HILL who has finished runner-up a couple of times, including over track and trip in July on similar going to today’s, and third on two of her last three runs. On the two occasions she has finished out of the frame, she didn’t help her cause by dwelling at the start.
She runs as if she needs an extra furlong, yet she appeared not to quite get home over Musselburgh’s 7f at the end of July, so a fast-run 6f (virtually assured this afternoon) on softish ground should prove ideal. Her in-form trainer Keith Dalgleish likes her chances too, saying: “It’s been frustrating with her as she deserves more than she’s got. She tries hard but keeps meeting one or two too good. She’s in a 6f nursery at Ayr this week and will win if she gets in.” Not sure I quite share his confidence, but the filly does look a cracking each-way bet at 40/1, with four places up for grabs.
Today’s ‘safe’ bet – if such a thing exists? – lies in Newbury’s Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes (3.55pm), which has produced several smart winners down the years and I’m hopeful that SPECIAL SEASON can add his name to that list. William Haggas’ colt absolutely hosed up on his debut at Sandown (7f) under a confident ride with some fair sorts in behind, and the way he drew right away up the hill suggests he will relish today’s extra furlong.
The bookmakers were impressed too as a couple of them are quoting the son of Lope De Vega at 25/1 for next year’s Newmarket Guineas, and I see he holds an entry for the Irish equivalent. His trainer certainly knows a good horse when he sees one and the stable continues in ridiculously good form – the last 13 runners have finished 1761112171136. Unfortunately, that won’t have escaped the attention of the layers and I’m not expecting big odds here, but I do think he’s a good thing – oops, said it now!
I’ve been trying to keep tabs on the summer jumps – no easy task with so much flat racing going on – but I’m going to pay even closer attention from now on with the season soon to step up a gear and that Chepstow meeting in early October, which for many heralds the start of the winter campaign, looming large. In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to find the odd winner – like Robin’s Command at Kelso earlier this week, hope you were on at 4/1? – and I may have spotted one at Hexham this afternoon.
The beast in question is the Keith Reveley-trained FRENCH SEVENTYFIVE, an ex-pointer who has been running well over hurdles and is of interest now he switches back to fences in the 2m4f handicap (5.05pm). The last time he ran in this sphere, at Catterick in March, he was close up when falling three out and he ought to be capable of winning a small race off his current low mark of 80, reduced further by his regular amateur rider’s 7lb claim. He stays a bit further so the stiff nature of this track will suit.
Ayr 2.30, Candy Hill each-way @ 40/1 Paddy Power (good luck if you’re having more than £2 each-way on as I got restricted, plenty of 33s elsewhere fortunately)
Newbury 3.55, Special Season @ 10/11 Coral (hoping I can nick evens somewhere in the morning)
Hexham 5.05, French Seventyfive @ 7/2 bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.