Our racing expert marks your card for Monday's action.
Richard Hannon’s Jumping Jack has looked progressive on the all-weather, winning two of his last three starts and finishing second in the other, and he’s not opposed lightly in this afternoon’s 1m nursery at Windsor.
However, a further 8lb rise makes life tougher for his return to turf and MISTER BLUE SKY is fancied to have his measure. Silvester Kirk’s charge has run two cracking races in defeat since getting off the mark at Nottingham in June, finishing runner-up on both occasions, and the form is rock-solid. He only found the highly progressive Montataire a half length too good at Ascot on his penultimate start and the winner has won twice more since, most recently when defying a mark of 93. That suggests the selection is very well in here on a perch of 74 and he should relish every yard of this extended mile trip having been readily outpaced over Sandown’s 7f last time behind Harbour Master, who has Group race entries.
With the stable amongst the winners of late and with James Doyle booked, I rate him a good thing and we get to back him at odds against thanks to the presence of the Hannon horse.
Charlie Hills’ Frenchman has been put in as favourite for the 6f handicap and it’s easy to see why as been running consistently well since losing his maiden tag on the all-weather back in May and hails from a stable going great guns. However, he’s yet to win on turf and tends to spoil his chance by pulling too hard. Dropped back to this trip last time, he again failed to relax and he looks vulnerable.
Let’s take him on with the Henry Candy-trained ROSIE ROYCE. Having shown some promise in maidens as a juvenile, she showed she had trained on when finishing fourth (of 11) on her belated reappearance at Salisbury last month, losing third place only in the dying strides. On that evidence she can definitely win a race off her current mark of 67 and this looks a good opportunity. Her trainer is in good form and indeed he struck with both his runners at the last meeting here. She’s a very backable price too.
It’s surely a question of time before Brian Ellison works his customary magic on the ex-Irish OLD STORM and places the gelding to advantage. The seven-year-old is making just his second start for his current stable, and his first for 289 days, in the closing 2m4f handicap chase at Perth. Given his absence a market check is advised before going in, but he’s got far more potential than any of his seven rivals and this point-to-point winner should be able to run up a sequence in the coming weeks as he’s undeniably well treated on a mark of 98. He’s made the running several times now so I’d expect his rider Henry Brooke to employ positive tactics and he might not be caught.