Our racing guru is pinning his hopes on a couple of horses that have already shown a liking for Towcester.
When betting at Towcester I always look for previous good form at the course as it doesn’t suit every horse.
That applies to both my bets there this afternoon, starting with the David Bridgwater-trained LAKESHORE LADY, who faces seven rivals in the handicap hurdle restricted to mares and run over a few yards shy of three miles. With the ground set to be testing – as it always is here – the trip will take some getting and that shouldn’t pose a problem for the selection, who won her only start in an Irish point-to-point over three miles on soft ground.
That was back in May 2014 and she’s had just three runs Rules since then, improving on each occasion and culminating in a second place finish in a novice hurdle here in December. She had no answer to the well backed favourite that day, having been a market springer in the morning herself, but she was well clear of the rest and that run earned her a potentially generous handicap mark of 110. With further improvement very likely and with Jake Hodson taking a handy 5lb off her back, she ought to go close.
It’s a competitive little race, mind, with Dolores Delightful and Altesse De Guye respected most amongst her rivals, but the upshot is that we get to back her at a working man’s price.
The 2m3f handicap hurdle run earlier on the card (2.25pm) looks just as tough with 18 set to go to post. However, the majority can be ruled out on racecourse evidence and, as with my first selection, it could pay to trust in the course form shown by DISTANT SOUND, who ran his best race yet in three starts for his current yard when chasing home David Pipe’s Navanman in a handicap hurdle here earlier this month.
That form looks decent as the winner has gone in again twice since and the selection finished a long way clear of the rest, having travelled strongly and gone for home first before being headed at the last. Having shown some promise when trained in Ireland, it appears he has now found his level over hurdles in this country and he should be up to winning a small race off his current mark. It could well be today as we know he handles the track and today’s slightly shorter trip is in favour.
He’s up against a couple of last-time-out winners in Transient Bay and Solidago and, while they’re respected, they lack course experience and have to give the selection weight. A bigger threat may come from Ben Pauling’s Cassie (12/1 bet365), who has shown promise in novice company and is potentially well treated on her handicap debut.
The final bet is running in the 1m2f maiden at Kempton (5.50pm) and I doubt there is a more expensive purchase in action this evening than the Ralph Beckett-trained GOLDEN CHAPTER, who cost 200,000gns as a yearling. Splashing the cash doesn’t guarantee success of course and she was a beaten favourite in a mile maiden on her debut at this track in December. However, she showed definite signs of promise that day to be beaten only four lengths, despite running green, and she should improve significantly for the experience.
An imposing filly who is a half-sister to six winners, including smart 1m4f all-weather winner / Park Hill second Starfala, she is going to relish the step up in trip and and is taken to improve past her 12 rivals and recoup losses from last time. John Gosden’s Muaither is feared most.