Our racing expert has his eye on three Windsor runners.
There are five British meetings to bet on today but I’m concentrating on the Flat fare at Windsor, where three horses catching the eye.
Simon Crisford has his string in rude health with a couple of winners since last Thursday and his WAFI STAR can keep the good run going when he runs in the 1m handicap (2.55pm). After showing promise on both his starts as a two-year-old, he showed he had trained on when finishing second on his reappearance over this trip at Chelmsford in April, albeit six lengths adrift of the winner Symbolic. That horse was given a rating of 88 for his handicap debut on his next start and performed creditably, so the selection is potentially well treated here on his handicap debut off a perch of 74, especially with Eddie Greatrex claiming 5lb off him.
Granted, he’s unlikely to be the only well handicapped runner in the field, but he has as much scope as any and, given normal improvement on his second start of this term, he must go close.
All bar one of the eight runners in the 5f maiden (3.30pm) have seen racecourse action in 2016, but the exception, the Roger Varian-trained SPANISH CITY, may prove classy enough to brush them all aside. Trained by the in-form Roger Varian, the son of Exceed And Excel showed real promise in two starts at two culminating in a runner-up finish at Newcastle in September on ground softer than ideal, and he should have plenty more to offer as a three-year-old.
Certainly, an ordinary maiden like this one should be his for the taking and he’s a backable price too thanks to the presence of Richard Hannon’s Jayjinski, who is not without ability but has let favourite backers down three times already and may do better when sent handicapping.
The final pick goes to the Robert Cowell-trained GWENDOLYN, who should run better than her 10/1 price tag would suggest in the 5f handicap run later on the card (4.05). The winner of a Wolverhampton maiden on her final start at two, she continued where she left off by making a winning reappearance/handicap debut at Ripon, only to flop when backed into odds-on favouritism to land the hat-trick at Thirsk next time, finishing a well beaten third.
However, Cowell (writing in a recent Stable Tour) blamed himself for that defeat, saying the ground had gone against after rain an hour before racing and that he should have pulled her out. Describing her as a “real trier” and “one to keep on your side” on better ground, she should find today’s ‘good to firm’ more to her liking and merits a small wager at a double-figure price.
Recent York winner Discreet Hero is feared most of the rest, though he’s 6lb higher here and needs to be held up for a late challenge. He may still win but the 13/8 on offer is no giveaway.