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Apologies for the rough patch of form I'm going through at the minute. Like I eluded to in yesterday's thread, whenever there is a front runner that I pick and there's an easy lead available, for some unknown reason they change tactics and don't go ahead with it. That happened with yesterday's only runner, which completely baffles me as he wasn't suited by the slow pace set, and that could've been different under positive tactics.
Trainer: Rebecca Menzies
Jockey: Oisin McSweeney
This is a very poor calibre race as expected from a Class 6 (0-55) Handicap. With races like this it tends to be the unexposed one who comes out victorious and I think that STANLEY SNUGFIT is the most likely winner.
A mark of 55 for this horse is no gimmick but based on his winning performance at Redcar in the middle of April I'd like to think there is a little bit more of improvement to come from this son of Adaay. The pace he showed that day suggests a drop back to 5f shouldn't be an inconvenience as he travelled powerfully through that race over a furlong longer and had the race won from a few furlongs out. I thought he ran a nice enough race the time after at Thirsk after a fairly quick turnaround of 7 days to finish 4th. They decided to turn him up quickly as they thought he would be hit by a heft hike in the weights so fancied their chances under a 6lb penalty. Ideally, I think they would've liked to give him more time to recover as he might be one of those horses who doesn't like to be bombarded with runs every week or so, and likes time in between, so for that reason I think he is still the one to beat now he's had a month off the track.
This race doesn't look all that competitive and I'd probably say Newgate Angel is the main threat having already won this season and is a previous C&D winner, but it would be disappointing if this lad couldn't improve past a mark of 55 at the age of 3 where there should be improvement to come from fresher legs.
Trainer: Tony Coyle
Jockey: Kieran Schofield
This is the second division of the Apprentice Handicap and I do really like the chances of GOLDEN PROSPERITY. To see his odds of 9/1 or larger at the time of writing is a real surprise to me as I thought he would be vying for favourtism on the back of his latest run, which looked a good effort to my eyes.
I had the favourite in the race where he finished 3rd over C&D and considering he was 5lbs lower than the winner and runner-up, where if it was a handicap he would've been 14lbs lower than the winner to finish 4 lengths behind was a good effort. The winner that day received an RPR of 71 and the runner-up who has only ran twice recieved an RPR of 63, which in the grand scheme of things makes that race a tougher one than what he faces today. He receives weight from all but one horse today and in a field full of exposed horses I think this 3yo could be the best of the bunch and at the current prices I think he is definitely worth a dabble.
Trainer: Jedd O'Keefe
Jockey: Billy Garritty
I was sucked into backing SAISONS D'OR last time out after he had ran well the previous two times, and I was left thinking confused and disappointed with his run at Doncaster as I expected a lot more from him. The drop back to 7f wouldn't have been the issue in my opinion as he does show good pace in his races, and after looking through today's race I think the time in between races is key for him. The quick turnaround of 6 days from his second to last run to his last run is out of the ordinary in recent times for this horse as he has normally been given around a month to recover from his race before going into his next, and that is what I'm putting his poor run down to.
I think the horses towards the top of the weights are the more interesting horses and the ones to be careful of. Headingley has been given the reputation as an AW merchant by the handicapper as he is rated 10lbs higher on the AW, which seems daft to me as he seems perfectly fine on turf, so he could be well treated. Reputation was the other which is interesting with the form of his recent 2nd looking quite strong compared to this grade, but on the whole I think sticking with Saisons D'Or is the correct decision. The form of his win has been boosted by the runner-up a couple of times since and he is only 3lbs higher than he was for that win. He has a good stall today so if he wants to use his good pace and go from the front he has the option to do so, and now he should be fully recharged from his 33 days off the track I think this could be the perfect time to catch him.