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I am slightly annoyed with the ride of yesterday's sole selection. As I said in my piece, there was going to be a strong pace set, but it appeared David Allan didn't do his homework, as he tried to wrestle for the pace, whilst travelling three wide. Frustrating to see, as Latin Lover who was off the pace, came with a strong run to finish 2nd, so who knows what could've been if Bay Breeze was held up.
Yet again it seems that I have been sucked into backing another outsider of the field. This time it's EY UP ITS MICK, who has drawn me in. This horse is bound to win again in the not so distant future, as he is starting to become well-treated on the form of last year, and even some parts of this season.
This is actually a very competitive sprint race for a Class 4 on a Tuesday, but there are reasons to believe the selection can outrun his odds, and potentially grab us the win. Obviously, there is quite a few in this race who look nicely weighted off their old exploits, but either their recent form doesn't offer much, or today's racing conditions will not suit. I had this race whittled down to three horses, those were Kapono, Big Les and Ay Up Its Mick. I decided to go for the latter as I think with the 7lb claimer taking the ride, connections must really fancy their chances in this, as he will be at the foot of the weights by an absolute distance. The nearest horse in the weights would be Soapy's Sister who will carrying 9st, and that is still 10lbs heavier than the selection.
Ay Up Its Mick is a strong travelling horse, who appeared on the scene when landing a couple of winners in 2020. He initially won his first race of last season off a mark of 60, then won off 67, and went close off 73 on a couple of occasions. This year he hasn't been running without promise, but he doesn't quite seem up to the same level as the previous year. When he won last year, it appeared that he was best suited on a slow surface, but that doesn't seem to be the case. He finished 2nd to the progressive Mr Wagyu, over today's C&D, on Good To Firm ground. Once again, like he always does, he travelled sweetly, but in hindsight, he bumped into a very well handicapped horse. Mr Wagyu was rated 68 when they met, he has since climbed the ranks and is now rated 99! Since that run, the selection was disappointing the time after, and his most recent run was probably over a trip which doesn't suit, but he stayed on well.
I think it's interesting that Tony Coyle has opted for Liam Browne's services to ride Ay Up Its Mick. I've not seen too much of him, but from the small sample of which I have, he seems to be a useful 7lb claimer. Tony booked Liam Browne for one of his mounts last week, and the pair were successful, winning on an 11/1 shot. Finger's crossed that the same can happen for this lad.
I think Big Les and Kapono are the main threats, with Big Les probably being my second pick. I won't be backing him in this race, but I may play a very small forecast, just in case. He is well-treated, and also gets the services of a 3lb claimer. He has previously won off his current mark at this track before, and was punted into favourite last time, before running no race whatsoever.
LEGENDARY DAY instantly screams out like the most likeliest winner of this race, and you might actually get decent odds due to the fact there are a few in this race who arrive in good form. Hughie Morrison doesn't send many runners to Scotland, so the fact he's sent this horse as his only runner of the day, up to Hamilton from his base in Berkshire, seems a tip in itself.
Hughie Morrison has only sent one runner to this track in the last five years, and even though that horse didn't win, it goes to show that he doesn't waste his time, and will only send runners if he believes they have a chance. It might sound daft considering his only runner didn't win, but you get the gist. Hamilton is a 740 mile round trip from where he trains, so they must be confident, as the fuel costs will not be cheap for the owners of this horse. His recent form would suggest that he comes into this race in good order, and will potentially find improvement for the step up in trip. The form of his recent 3rd behind Path Of Thunder at Newmarket is definitely the best form on offer. The winner did disappoint the time after at the Goodwood festival, but I expected that. That day, Legendary Day was staying on strongly up the Newmarket hill, which suggests the stiff track and uphill finish, plus the extra furlong, could play to his strengths.
He is a 3yo, so will get the weight for age allowance, which is 7lbs for this trip at this time of year, which is a big help. 3yo's have got a decent recent record in this race, winning it 4x in the last six years.
Hamilton is a track which is pretty unforgiving if you're on the rail, as you often see hard luck stories, especially in decent sized fields like this. Finger's crossed that Danny Tudhope, who is an eye-catching jockey booking, stays out of trouble, potentially tracking the pace one off the rail, so he can make his challenge with a clear run.
As for the other horses in the race, I was drawn to Freak Out, trained by Karen Tutty. This horse has only ran once for Karen, after she acquired him from George Boughey's yard. For his first run for the yard, that was a good effort, and he was dropped 1lb for that run. He could outrun his odds, as his form earlier on in the season looks decent.
A horse who I tipped up on his last start, and probably should've won in my opinion is, AMOURIE.
He was a very unlucky loser in the race at Catterick, where he wasn't given a great ride. The jockey kept trying to go for a gap, when he should've brought Amourie wide, as when he finally did do that, he stayed on very well. Thankfully, the handicapper didn't alter his rating, so that means he arrives here with another good chance.
There are a few in this race who could progress again, Desert Quest probably being the main one. He ran well over 14f, before winning last time out. He might not appreciate this drop in trip, but also he is carrying 8st 13lbs, which is considerably more than 8st 3lbs and 8st which he carried on his last two decent runs. Hellenista is an interesting runner for the Tim Easterby yard, and this horse should be much better now he's entering handicaps. His pedigree is decent, out of a 90 rated Mare, by Nathaniel. If the money arrives for this one, it should be noted. The same applies to Will He Dance, who also has a staying pedigree, and makes his handicap debut today. However, if they aren't ready for this step up in trip, or simply aren't good, then if Amourie is in the same vein of form as the last couple of runs, he'll definitely pick up the pieces.