Our racing expert marks your card for today's racing, with a couple of Nottingham runners fancied to go well.
Now summer has finally arrived to firm up the ground, the form is likely to settle down and that will mean fewer shock results. That’s the hope at Nottingham this evening with both selections coming off good runs last time.
Martyn Meade’s DARMA will be the first to put that theory to the test when she runs in the 6f handicap (due off 7.10pm). A winner over this trip at two, she drew a blank in 2015 but has run well on both her starts this term. After being pipped by just a head on the all-weather at Kempton in April, she struck over this course and distance in early June, staying on well to deny Meandmyshadow by a head with a decent gap back to the third.
She has been raised just 4lb for that effort and most of that is taken care of by the 3lb claim of apprentice jockey Josephine Gordon, who is looking increasingly polished in the saddle and has booted home three big-priced winners in the last week (11/1, 16/1 & 13/2). The selection, who is a best-priced 6/1, could well provide her with another as she is mildly progressive, unlike many of her rivals, and has her optimum conditions – since running a green fourth on her debut, her record over 6f on good/faster turf or Polytrack reads 1321.
Later on the card, Brian Ellison’s FROZON is being turned out again quickly in the extended 1m handicap (due off 8.10pm) after going down by a short head on his handicap debut over track and trip just four days ago. That was a big improvement on his three previous starts in maidens, but there is no reason to doubt the form and, given he is likely to go up in the weights once reassessed, he must have a major shout of going one better here off the same mark. Just for good measure his stable is in cracking form with eight winners in the last fortnight.
His main danger according to the betting is the Owen Burrows-trained Sirdaal. She has been handed a potentially lenient mark of 58 on her handicap debut and is being ridden for the first time by her owners retained jockey Paul Hanagan. However, she’s spoiled her chances each time by refusing to settle, the latest coming at Newbury 12 days ago when finishing ninth of the 12 runners, and she is best watched for now with headgear likely needed at some point.