Our racing expert marks your card for this afternoon's action at Hamilton.
Hugo Palmer doesn’t travel this far north with many horses from his Newmarket base, just three in fact and two of those have won.
His COLLIDE therefore merits plenty of respect on that record alone and the three-year-old son of Frankel is very much the one they all have to beat in the 1m1f novice – and not just because of his breeding! Easy to back on his Pontefract debut, he travelled like the best horse in the race until losing his place over two furlongs out, before making some late gains in the closing stages. That was a fair novice run at a decent pace and the selection is sure to come on plenty for the experience, while today’s extra furlong is also in his favour.
Kevin Ryan’s Billy Ruskin is feared most as he too showed promise on his debut (fourth of six at Thirsk) and should do better with that outing under his belt.
Andrew Balding is enjoying a purple patch right now with 14 winners from his 47 runners (30%) in the last fortnight and HAPPY POWER, his only runner at the track, can keep the excellent run going in the 6f maiden. A pricey yearling at 625,000gns, he was surprisingly easy to back prior to his debut at Newbury in May but that didn’t stop him running a promising race, staying on late to grab fourth close home, and he will certainly know more this time round.
He looks to have Mark Johnston’s Smile A Mile to beat after that horse’s recent third at Haydock, which was a big step up on previous efforts.
The handicaps are far trickier as you’d expect and the class 3 contest over 1m1f looks particularly competitive. But it could pay to concentrate on the three-year-olds as they are less exposed and likely still improving, which surely applies to GRISE LIGHTNING.
Richard Fahey’s filly lines up after just three starts and having finished a promising second on her debut here last August, she left that form well behind when turning over an odds-on chance (a winner since) when reappearing over the same track and trip 17 days. Clearly a wind operation in the spring has done her plenty of good and there should be plenty more to come from her now she goes handicapping, with her opening mark of 78 looking fair.
The hat-trick seeking Yes You and last year’s winner Manshood, who is now 4lb lower, are respected most of her rivals. UPDATE -the selection is very easy to back this morning – out to 7/1 from 4/1, while Manshood is now 7/2 favourite with some firms – so best keep stakes small.
I also see there is plenty of market confidence behind Iain Jardine’s FALMOUTH LIGHT in the 1m1f handicap, which is encouraging as he has been off since scoring on his stable/seasonal debut at Doncaster (1m2f, soft) in early June. He goes well fresh anyway and given how decisively he won on his first run back after being gelded, a subsequent 5lb rise might prove lenient. As there are no worries over him handling the forecast cut in the ground either, I’m happy to back him at the current price (was a couple of points bigger at the time of posting).
All odds were correct at time of posting.