Our racing expert fancies a couple of Salisbury runners.
There’s Listed action at Salisbury this afternoon and the track will be pleased with the turnout for their 1m2f fillies’ contest as nine are set to go to post.
According to the ratings, they’ve all got 2016 Chain Of Daisies to beat as she has at least 6lb in hand over her rivals. But she hasn’t run to anywhere near her best in two starts this season and while she seems sure to adopt her customary front-running tactics, I’m not sure I can trust her at current odds.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Hope is favourite with some firms despite having plenty to find on the ratings and that is surely based on her connections and breeding, with her dam being a half-sister to Group 2 winner Crystal Ocean. However, she appeared to find fast ground against her when a well beaten third last time, having won a Sandown novice on good to soft previously, and the forecast fast terrain is therefore a concern.
One who won’t mind the ground one bit is Charlie Fellowes’ MIA TESORO and I’m not going to let her big price put me off. Once rated just 57, she has improved out of all recognition since, winning five times, including the Listed Nottinghamshire Oaks two starts back. That wasn’t totally unexpected as she had finished an unlucky fourth in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes previously, doing all her best work late on in that 1m1f contest after a far from clear passage.
Not disgraced on her most recent outing in a Group 3 run on Newcastle’s Tapeta, she’s going to appreciate the return to fast ground – her form figures on good to firm or faster read 111104 – and a mile and a quarter is her best trip. Given her ideal conditions, she must have every chance of more black type by finishing in the frame, which makes her a cracking each-way bet at the current 16/1, and it wouldn’t be a total surprise if she scooped first prize.
The handicaps at the Wiltshire track are far trickier as you’d expect, but there is going to be some juice in the price of Marcus Tregoning’s CHAMPS DE REVES for the 1m2f contest open to horses who haven’t won a race this year. One of four three-year-olds in the line up, he’s relatively unexposed compared to some after just four starts and I’m hopeful he can produce a career best now stepping up to this trip for the first time.
While his dam was a sprinter, he is by a stamina influence and he races as if he needs further, including when a fast-finishing third at Chepstow (7f) last summer and most recently when staying on from well off the pace to finish fifth (just over two lengths behind the winner) on his Lingfield reappearance.
As that was his first outing for well over a year, he’s entitled to come on for it and he might have got in lightly for what is his handicap debut off a mark of 73 considering that the two horses who finished in front of him at Chepstow are now rated 106 and 82 respectively. I also like that Hayley Turner has kept the ride as she’s full of confidence right now and is 6-32 (19%) on the stable runners in 2018.
All odds were correct at time of posting.