Our racing expert marks your card for Monday's action at Thirsk.
William Haggas has a near 1-3 strike rate at Thirsk and his PRAZERES, who ran an excellent third on his Newbury debut, can enhance that record further in the opening 6f maiden, albeit punters are being asked to take odds-on (5/6 best with bet365).
However, the trainer’s Manshood looks a favourite worth taking on at forecast odds in the 7f maiden run later on the card (4.15pm). An expensive purchase, he’s going to struggle to recoup expenses based on his two efforts to date, finishing well down the field in a Newmarket maiden on his debut and then a well a well beaten third in an ordinary Lingfield contest nine days ago. That he has been blinkered on both occasions suggests he’s not straightforward and, while today’s extra furlong might help, he could be vulnerable to one of the newcomers.
The two to concentrate on are Mark Johnston’s Buttermere and NEW SIGNAL, who is representing David O’Meara and gets the vote. A 150,000 son of New Approach and related to four Italian winners, he doesn’t have any fancy entries, but that said it’ll be disappointing of his cant make his mark in this ordinary contest and his stable is in good form. The market will prove the best guide to his chances so if he’s trading shorter than the current 7/2 when you read this, you can take it for granted that he’s expected to go well.
O’Meara will also have designs on the 1m handicap (5.15pm) with Dutch Artist, who has had excuses for defeats on his three starts since winning over 7f at Catterick back in May and is having just his sixth start overall. However, he might struggle to give 8lb to another lightly-raced sort in LE ROI DU TEMPS, who was having just his second start for trainer Ivan Furtado when a staying-on second to a similarly progressive three-year-old over 7f at Leicester last month off the same mark as today’s. This extra furlong won’t come amiss then and given that his trainer has displayed a real knack of improving other stable’s cast-offs, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to take another step forward.
North Yorkshire-based David Loughnane has been on fire this month, with his Cornwallville the latest inmate to do the business at Newbury on Saturday (tipped up here at 12/1), and that horse’s stablemate SEAMSTER looks the safe play in the 5f handicap (3.45pm). Several of his younger rivals are capable of having a say, but the evergreen nine-year-old is in the form of his life and a 6lb penalty for winning over course and distance just six days ago is unlikely to stop him, especially as he’s reunited with 7lb claimer Cameron Noble. As last week, he has dropped lucky with the draw having been allotted stall 11 of 12.