Our racing guru likes one at each of Leicester, Newcastle and Kempton.
Most of the runners for the 2m4f handicap chase at Leicester this afternoon bring solid recent form to the table, but none more so than BALLYRATH, who is given the nap vote to follow up his impressive nine-length success over two furlongs further here eight days ago.
The six-year-old was stepping up considerably on his previous effort at Warwick and connections were quick to put that down to a change of headgear, with first-time cheek-pieces replacing a visor. The former is reapplied here and, with the handicapper sure to raise him by then the 7lb penalty he carries this afternoon, it’s no surprise to see him turned out again quickly under similar conditions. The slight drop in trip is no concern as he had his race won a long way out last time before idling close home.
It’s not very often I find myself recommending backing a horse with form figures of PF, an overall record of 0-17 and, just for good measure, who is 4lb ‘wrong’ at the weights. They are the negatives surrounding the Keith Dalgleish-trained HOME FOR TEA, who contests the closing 2m handicap chase at Newcastle (4.20pm). However, they are far outweighed by the positives and that we can back him at 4/1 to win a very modest contest is an opportunity not to be missed.
The seven-year-old showed plenty of promise when with Tom Symonds, finishing runner-up twice and achieving a peak rating of 94, so it appears Dalgleish has inherited a very well handicapped horse who lines up today off just 78. The switch in stables appears to have done him plenty of good too as he was tanking along and looking likely to score when falling four out at Musselburgh last time. If none the worse for that, those punters who sent to him off as 3/1 favourite that day can recover losses – with interest!
At Kempton this evening, the Simon Dow-trained DUTIFUL SON catches the eye in the 7f handicap (6.10pm) off top weight. The six-year-old has won four of his ten starts here, most recently over this trip in November and off the same mark as today’s. He’s been running well since too, twice finishing fourth in much better contests over a mile at Lingfield, and he seems sure to appreciate the return to class 4 company.
Jamie Spencer is booked to ride and he can make the most of a good draw in stall three, whereas main market rival, the hat-trick seeking Jammy Guest, is out wide in 12 and will do well to get the dream run he enjoyed when scoring over track and trip last time.