Castle Can Throw Rivals Into The Moat
All of today’s UK meetings are in England, with racing taking place at Fakenham, Sedgefield, Brighton, Exeter and Catterick.
Fakenham’s big race is the Norfolk National Handicap Chase (3.30) and Prideofthecastle looks a decent bet in this one. Unlike most Premier League teams, this season, David Pipe’s runner did manage to score at Leicester. He beat the only other finisher by 81 lengths and was last seen at Warwick, where a blunder at the 16th fence put paid to his chances.
Thomas Wild also has a mistake or two in him, but should take to the quicker ground. Philip Hobbs’ inmate was 3rd amongst decent company, at Cheltenham 3 weeks ago, with Financial Climate, Godsmejudge and Mysteree all finishing behind him.
The surface is likely to give way far more readily at Sedgefield, so Overtheedge is marginally preferred to Bleu Et Noir in the 3.40 based to his victory at Wetherby on even-more testing ground. He beat the very short-priced Flashjack by almost 2 lengths and owner, Paul Hothersall, should be quietly optimistic that his horse can turn over today’s likely favourite. Bleu Et Noir was a little keen at Newton Abbot and will need to engage his brain a bit more, if he is going to land the spoils this afternoon.
Time For Tom To Step Up
Tomily was well-backed, when failing to win on debut at Kempton, although inexperience was a major factor. He looked in better shape at Newmarket, although getting to Sutter County was always going to be a big ask. He should come on for that brace of runs and it will be a disappointment, if Richard Hannon’s charge fails to shed his maiden tag today. Monks Stand faces his 2nd day at school, after an encouraging debut at Lingfield. Jeremy Noseda’s runner looks the biggest threat.
There are 2 evening meetings and a larger field of juveniles competing in the first at Catterick (5.55). Keith Dalgleish looks to have uncovered a real gem in the Elzaam-sired Clem Fandango. The French filly ran green as grass, on debut at Beverley, yet her ability was still very much in evidence and she should win today if the sharp track poses no problems. Both Merry Banter and Accladora benefit from having a couple of outings under their belts, while Richard Fahey’s unraced Limbrick is out of a dam that won on debut over this trip (as a 2-year-old).
Waterloo Can Battle His Way Into The Money
The final race at Exeter is a NH flat race and takes place at 8.05. Misterton is the only one to arrive with solid-looking form and 2 of his 3 races were held locally. The grey gelding was competitive on both of his Taunton outings and finished runner-up to Aintree My Dream, a month ago at Warwick.
You really have to respect a Nicky Henderson runner in these types of races though and Swoop To Conquer looks well-bred to score first time out. Waterloo Warrior did just about enough, on debut at Wincanton, to suggest that Colin Tizzard’s 4-year-old is worth at least an each-way flutter.
More Action In Ireland, France & South Africa
Across the Irish Sea, the 8.05 at Ballinrobe promises to be an absorbing handicap with the likes of King Blue, Westerner Point, The Shepherd King, Owennacurra Milan and Rebel Cry all prominent in the betting. Valours Minion has been a regular winner, but should go off at a fairly big price. If the ground improves, he may be the value bet.
There’s an excellent card at Enghien (France), where Spainsh Du Breteau (a horse that has won 3 out of 3, this year) goes in the Listed Prix Durtain. Miss De Champdoux, Royal Astarania and The Reader are all expected to be there or thereabouts in the G3 Prix Romati.
There are 8 races at Vaal (South Africa), with a great deal expected of debutant Enchanted Rock in the opener.