Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's action.
Michael Dods’ KINGS GIFT has been given an entry in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes and that makes him very interesting in the opening 7f nursery at Redcar this afternoon off a mark of just 75.
His form is none too shabby either as he was a good second to a promising newcomer on his debut over track and trip back in July, before relinquishing his maiden certificate at Ayr last time. That looked a decent maiden on paper as he was taking on some unexposed rivals and the first five home finished nicely clear, enforcing the opinion that he is well handicapped.
There should be more in the locker as they say and connections must be hoping he can give weight and a beating to today’s nine rivals if he’s going to justify that lofty entry. With the stable continuing in good form and with his ability to handle some cut proven, odds of 2/1 that he does exactly that seem fair.
His stablemate APROVADO could be worth a small interest in division two of the 6f handicap run later on the card. The four-year-old has failed to give his true running the last twice, including on the all-weather last time, but it’s less than a month ago that he finished a close second in an Ayr handicap (6f, good to soft) off just 3lb lower, and the application of first-time blinkers might be just what he needs to coax a return to his best. I’m happy to take a chance on that happening at 15/2.
Sadly, there are not such good odds available on another fancied Dods inmate, TRANSPENNINE STAR, who is taking on 11 rivals in the 1m6f handicap. They include Sir Mark Prescott’s Monjeni and having tipped him up a couple of times already this season, it’s Sod’s Law he finally gets his head in front here.
However, he looks a tricky customer to say the least and the selection, another three-year-old, should prove a more reliable conveyance for our money. Lightly-raced after just five starts, he didn’t help his chance when veering out on the first bend at Ayr when last seen out, though he still finished a half-length third, and his previous third at Carlisle now looks decent form, with the winner, second and fourth all scoring since. Effective with cut in the ground, he’s taken to justify 10/3 favouritism and complete a memorable day for his stable, hopefully.
Bryan Smart enjoyed a cracking August and he’s started the new month in a similar vein, with his Nameitwhatyoulike winning the conditions sprint at York on Sunday. It could therefore be worth taking a chance on the fitness of that horse’s stablemate EXTORTION, who is returning from a 116-day absence in the first division of the 6f handicap.
The three-year-old was a model of consistency in 2015, finishing second on his first three starts before getting off the mark over at Hamilton, and he looked set for another good season when again finishing runner-up at Pontefract on his reappearance. He then found the ground too fast when disappointing on his next start at Pontefract and connections have been waiting for better ground since.
Today’s ‘good to soft’ is ideal and a career-best run would not surprise as, according to his trainer in a recent Stable Tour, he has strengthened up in the meantime and should be “very nice” when we get some juice in the ground. In that case it could be worth having a little each-way on him at a double-figure price.
All odds were correct at time of posting.