Our racing has put up three to back on the all-weather.
Having seen far too many selections get bogged down in the mud of late and with heavy ground prevailing at today’s jumps meetings, I’m turning to the all-weather in the hope of landing on a winner or two.
First up is the James Tate-trained SABAANI who is fancied to improve past a couple of more experienced rivals in the 1m median auction stakes at Chelmsford this evening (due off 6.10pm). Following a fair debut fourth at Wolverhampton, he was backed into favouritism when upped to 1m2f at Lingfield earlier this month and, although collared close home having set a strong pace, he showed enough to suggest he can win a modest maiden such as this, with the drop back in trip likely to suit.
Bernie’s Boy, the forecast favourite, has four seconds to his name from five outings and, having looked at short runner over 7f, he might struggle to get home. Rivers Of Asia is respected having made the frame on three occasions, though he has never really threatened. Both those horses help to make the market for the selection.
Bridge Of Sighs has put in as favourite for the 1m handicap (7.40pm) and, having won two of his last three starts over track and trip, that’s understandable. However, the form of his latest success has not really worked out and he is opposable off a 3lb higher mark in what looks a stronger race.
Let’s take him on with Denis Quinn’s PYLA who has shaped well on all three occasions she has raced here with her latest second in a higher grade contest run over this trip the best yet. Ridden more aggressively, she looked like making all only to be caught in the final strides by Giovanni Di Bicci, who was thrown in under a penalty for his wide-margin victory at Kempton the previous week. Off just a 1lb higher mark and with the cheek-pieces she has worn to both her turf wins reapplied, she may well go one better today.
One favourite I’m less inclined to oppose is the Chris Dwyer-trained COORG, who is bidding for a course four-timer in the handicap over 2m (6.40pm). The four-year-old is up in class this afternoon and has a further 8lb rise to contend with, but he continues to steamroller all opposition put in his path, winning by three lengths from a subsequent winner last time, and his trainer is claiming 5lb off him with talented apprentice Josephine Gordon booked.