Our resident tipster is hoping to start the week with a bang with a selection each at Windsor and Pontefract this evening.
Ayr and Thirsk are on afternoon duties but I’m happy to wait until later this evening for the day’s best bets.
Windsor takes its usual Monday evening slot and the standout bet has to be TEARS OF THE SUN in the extended 1m2f handicap. I like following fillies once they find their stride and Clive Cox’s runner is in the form of her life after a change of stable earlier this year, and the form of her last-time-out Brighton success could not have worked out better. Races run at the south coast track tend be fairly uncompetitive, but ten-furlong handicap she won there last time is proving to be an exception. The fourth Special Miss was the first to advertise it when romping home by eight lengths at Windsor on her subsequent start, and the third Boonga Roogeta then did his bit when winning at Chelmsford last Wednesday. But there was better to come as the runner-up Elbereth won an ultra-competitive £50,000 handicap on Oaks day and, given her form had already been boosted, it was a surprise she went off as big as 16/1.
The selection is nowhere near that price, sadly, but this is a far lower level and racing off just a 3lb higher mark this evening she simply has to be backed to follow up. The drying ground certainly won’t inconvenience her as it was firm when she finished second at Bath two starts back and I’m also encouraged by her third over track and trip last July, which dispels any worries she may not act around here – Brighton (where she’s won twice now) and Windsor are like chalk and cheese. Fast ground, on the other hand, might not be ideal for some of her rivals, including topweight Persona Grata, and a bigger danger looks to be Go Sakhee, even though he seemed to lack a gear when third over this trip at Leicester last time.
The other one to back this evening is running just 20 minutes later in the 6f handicap at Pontefract (7.40pm). Like the first selection, NORMANDY BARRIERE is at the top of his game and is chasing his third win of this campaign from just four strarts, one of which came over track and trip. He failed to land the hat-trick whhe second at York last time, but that was a much hotter contest than the one he contests this evening and he was unlucky to bump into a better treated and more progressive rival in Udododontu. The 7f may also have stretched his stamina and back over his optimum this evening and from just a 3lb higher mark on a course he clearly likes, he can get back to winning ways.
His trainer Nigel Tinker is also sounding optimistic over his chances, saying: “He’s very well and I just hope there’s no jar in the ground [has won on good to firm]. He’s back to 6f, but a stiff 6f is fine and he’s a course winner at Pontefract, which can be a big advantage. We could have gone to Haydock last week but preferred to wait for this.”