Monday’s UK racing will be unusually action-packed, with no less than 5 meetings taking place. Horses will be running at Windsor, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Huntingdon and Pontefract.
No Group or Listed races are scheduled, but there are plenty of interesting encounters none the less. One race that catches the eye is the Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap, a 6f sprint for horses aged 4 and over.
Rio To Samba At Pontefract?
My Name Is Rio and Ocean Sheridan finished 4th and 3rd at Doncaster, earlier this month, in a race won by Tom Dascombe’s Roudee. Both kept on well and will benefit from the handicapper’s largesse, this afternoon.
Should the ground dry out a little, Related will certainly fancy his chances. However, David Simcock’s inmate has not tasted victory for over a year and that was on the Kempton polytrack.
Avon Breeze has been lying low for a while. This will be his first outing since last October, when he beat Hoofalong by half a length in a 5f dash here at Pontefract. A big performance is expected, if he arrives looking sharp.
Bearwood won here, almost exactly a year ago and has put in some commendable efforts since then. Rising star of the weighing-room Sammy Jo Bell should be relishing this opportunity to further impress Richard Fahey.
Relentless Nicholls Chases Championship At Newton Abbot
Paul Nicholls has his eyes firmly on the prize and his pursuit of the Champion Trainer title continues at Newton Abbot. Amanto is expected to start the day’s opener as the hot favourite. Nicholls scooped a 20/1 4-timer, at Wincanton yesterday and Sam Twiston-Davies will know exactly what is expected of him today aboard Amanto.
A field of only 4 runners should not stop the 3.20 from being a compelling spectacle, with a brace of very-useful French horses set to do battle. Dormello Mo is Nicholls’ hope in this one but Venetia Williams’ Aso may prove too strong. The bay gelding trailed in last of 5 finishers, in the Arkle and was then outclassed again in G1 company at Aintree. Even so, Aso’s defeat of Ballyalton at Market Rasen in January showed he has genuine ability and Dormello Mo will have to fight hard for the money.
Ben To Bash Pandy?
The early evening meetings are Huntingdon and Windsor. Pandy Wells has been given a 5lb hike and this could open the door for Basford Ben, in the 6.40. The Trade Fair-sired gelding was proving frustrating for connections, after finishing as runner-up on 4 consecutive occasions. It looked like the same thing was going to happen again, at Carlisle last time out, but he held off a strong challenge from Mo Rouge and won by a short-head.
Catherine Gannon has been given the opportunity to ride David Evans’ handy-looking 4-year-old, Flowers On Venus, once again and she’ll want to make it 2 wins out of 3. After winning on debut at Wolverhampton, she was beaten just a nose by Hoofalong at Southwell in February. Ice Lord, who will partner David Probert, looks the biggest threat.
O’Brien’s Juvenile To Be The Daddy?
There’s also evening racing at Dundalk and all eyes will be on Aidan O’Brien’s Caravaggio, in the first race. He’s sired by Scat Daddy, whose notable winners include Lady of Shamrock, Daddy Long Legs, No Nay Never and El Kabier. Caravaggio will be competing against stablemate Lundy, along with Buddha Boy and Olympic Legend. All 4 will be on debut, tonight.
G3 Action At Saint-Cloud!
Today’s best card can be found at Saint-Cloud, in France. The Prix de la Provence, Prix Mississipian and Prix de Lescar all come before the G3 Prix Pénélope. Coif, Jadhaba, Camprock and The Juliet Rose all go into the stalls with unblemished records and this race should be an absolute cracker!