Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's action.
There is a cracking conditions sprint at Beverley this afternoon and it looks a good opportunity for the Roger Varian-trained DOUBLE UP to get back to winning ways.
The five-year-old is a fresh horse compared to his rivals, having had just three starts this term, and showed himself to be in good heart when running an excellent fourth (of 20) in the Portland Handicap at the St Leger meeting off top weight. That run can be upgraded as a slow start left him work to do and he was running on strongly at the finish to be beaten just over a couple of lengths.
Given his high rating of 105, he’s going to have to lump big weights in handicaps and this level-weights contest offers him the best chance of getting his head in front, especially as he escapes any sort of penalty due to the race conditions. He has a little to find with Caspian Prince and Eastern Impact on the ratings but that pair have run below-par of late, whereas the selection appears to be coming to the boil
He probably needs a fast-run 5f to be seen to best effect these days and should get that here, with the stiff uphill finish another thing in his favour as he tends to do his best work late on. If any more encouragement was needed, he has been handed a good draw in stall two with low numbers tending to be favoured in sprints at the track, more so in double-figure fields like today’s.
There is lots to like then and while I would have liked bigger than his current 5/2 (15/8 in a place at the time of writing), I do think he’s by far the most likely winner.
Over jumps now at Warwick where the 3m1f handicap chase looks tricky with several of the nine-runner field bringing solid recent form to the table, but I reckon they’ve all got Fergal O’Brien’s MASTER DEE to beat. The seven-year-old has been a model of consistency for connections having not once finished outside the first three in 13 starts under Rules, and winning four times in four different spheres (a point-to-point, a bumper, two hurdles and a chase last time out).
That was a four-runner affair, admittedly, but all three of his rivals were previous winners and the runner-up, I’dliketheoption, whom he was giving 8lb, is a progressive sort who could win a decent pot over fences in the coming months. That comment also applies to the selection and, off just a 2lb higher this afternoon, he’s taken to continue his progress under regular partner Paddy Brennan, who has a 20% (8-41) strike rate on all the stable runners this season.