THE weekend starts here for Thommo. With meetings at Newbury, Doncaster, Wolves and Cheltenham our racing tipster has a bumper five horses to follow on Friday.
GRACEFUL LADY (5.10) has made steady progress throughout the season and another pay-day looms in the concluding apprentices’ handicap at Newbury.
Darragh Keenan was aboard when Robert Eddery’s filly gained a comfortable success over two miles at York this summer and Graceful Lady remains well enough treated on the evidence of her recent fifth to Who Dares Wins in the Betfred Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket.
This is a ‘hands and heels’ contest, which can throw up some odd results, but Graceful Lady is usually a strong traveller through her races without resort to the whip. The drying ground is a bonus.
Gabrial’s Star has dropped to a good mark and ran okay at Ayr when third to Buonarroti and Hurricane Hollow.
Soft ground specialist The New Pharoah figures fairly prominently in the betting but having bet him last year when only ninth, I’ll give him a miss off the same rating.
LUCY THE PAINTER (2.50) is finally enjoying some respite from the handicapper.
She hinted that a return to form was imminent with a sixth to progressive Star Rock over 1m 4f at Newmarket, a trip that stretches her stamina. Considering Lucy The Painter kicked off the season in the Betway Lincoln Handicap off a 100 rating, her new mark of 82 is very enticing.
The assessor seems to have taken the view that Ed De Giles’ five-year-old is regressive and that may well be the case. However, she is running against her own sex today and is a big each-way price.
At Doncaster, TOMAHAWK KID (5.20) missed an engagement a few days ago to wait for the 188Bet amateur riders’ handicap.
Ian Williams could hardly have his string in better form and Tomahawk Kid should be ready to go on the back of an encouraging fifth to Compton Mill at Nottingham, his first start in more than seven weeks.
The gelding has been dropped 2lb and won off a similar mark earlier in the year on good ground.
Ice Dancing’s third to Neshmeya at Newmarket is fairly strong form and Michael Bell’s filly should be in the shake-up.
COSTA PERCY (6.15) is well worth an interest in the Class 6 stayers’ handicap at Wolverhampton.
He battled on tenaciously to hold Seamus Durack’s favourite High Wells over 1m 4f at Musselburgh in September and was ridden with more restraint when a staying on third to Cornerstone Lad at Pontefract earlier this month.
Costa Percy was a dual hurdles winner in June, so stamina is not an issue, and a return to positive tactics can see him back in the winner’s enclosure.
There is some interesting jumps action at Cheltenham where they have been watering in preparation for their two-day fixture.
Hopefully, they haven’t overwatered as COOL MACAVITY (5.30) is much better on a sound surface as he showed when scoring on good to firm at Towcester last time.
Nicky Henderson’s gelding ran some solid races on the Flat this summer off marks in the mid-80s and James Bowen is able to claim 6lb in this conditional jockeys’ hurdle.