Our racing expert marks your card for Monday's action.
Leicester’s eight-race opens with a competitive nursery and Sir Michael Stoute’s Believable heads the betting at around the 3/1 mark, having got off the mark in a Kempton maiden last time.
However, she was allowed to dominate that modest contest and more is required against today’s rivals, with Mick Channon’s TARA CELEB taken to beat her. A half-sister to four winners including Group 3 scorer Lady Gloria, she showed a likeable attitude when winning on her debut at Goodwood last month, despite fluffing her lines at the start, and should be all the better for that experience. An opening mark of 73 doesn’t look beyond her by any means.
Channon’s booking of Andrea Atzeni takes the eye and seals the bet, with the rider boasting a 21% strike rate on the stable runners for a £1 level-stakes profit of £28.41.
I don’t normally bet in sellers but I’m going to make an exception for today’s 7f contest at the Midlands track, with Rae Guest’s INFINITI taking a drop in class after going off favourite for a couple of non-sellers of late. She did best when finishing a close second at Yarmouth over this trip on her penultimate start before failing to replicate that form when switched to a mile on the all-weather last time. She’s clearly thought capable of better and the addition of cheek-pieces might just help this lightly-raced filly to fulfil her potential.
What clinches the bet is the form of her stable, with Guest having sent out three winners from his last four runners, while his record in these type of races is a respectable 4-20 (20%).
There’s a good turnout of 16 for the 5f handicap and with bookies going 6/1 the field there is a strong incentive to have a stab at finding the winner. Majestic Hero looks one of the more likely candidates as he’s been running consistently well of late and only narrowly failed at Ascot last time. However, he invariably gets nailed by one or two late on and could be vulnerable to a better handicapped rival.
Kevin Ryan’s DISTANT PAST certainly falls into that category as he’s back on a mark 2lb lower than his last winning one and 11lb below his peak. He’s been absent since running a fine third in a Premier Handicap at the Curragh in July, when seeing too much daylight from a poor draw, but a quick market check suggests he’s ready to go and his in-form stable is fresh from landing Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup with Brando. The forecast fast ground is fine for him.