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The Mediterranean was very close to grabbing a place yesterday at Longchamp, at a drifted price of 33/1, which was gutting as he ran very well from the front. However, enough of me crying about yesterday… today we have three selections, all at decent prices from Hamilton and Leicester.
On a side note… I think the amount of racing today is far too much. Seven tracks racing on a Thursday seems ridiculous, it seems like a Saturday. Let me know your opinion on this, as I think it's starting to become quite saturated.
This does appear to be quite a tricky event to try and work out, but the consistency that AYR POET has shown this year is quite remarkable, as I think it could be his turn to get his head in front.
Ayr Poet is a dual winner at this track, so it's a venue which suits his run style. He's won hear off mark of 46 and 52, which are a lot lower than his current rating of 66, but that isn't a concern to me, as he's in the form of his life at the age of 6. Jim Goldie is having a fantastic season, and his horses are benefiting from his tremendous form, like Ayr Poet who has improved 6lbs from the start of this season. 6lbs might not sound like much, but he's been putting brilliant performances every couple of weeks, and has been placed 6x this year, as well as winning once. This horse seems to handle any type of ground, runs over multiple trips and can run in many different styles (lead or be held up), though he's not very talented, he seems a dream horse to own as he tries his heart out every single race, and that's all you can ask for.
This race in particular has a couple of horses returning to form in Where's Jeff and Overwrite, who is also taking a big drop in grade. And you've got the likes of Regal Mirage, who has been consistent this season. I believe that the form of Ayr Poet's runs, combined with the fact he's carrying 8st 2lbs, will be the deciding factor. There should be a decent pace on, and that will suit Ayr Poet who stays well at this trip, and the track with the stiff finish will give Ayr Poet a flying finish, especially from his featherweight.
FROG AND TOAD is a horse who I feel I must back as I rate the form line that he is in. He was behind Qasbaz at Doncaster, who I recently tipped at Ascot, and on the day I tipped him up, I bigged his form up massively. Though Qasbaz was a NR at the weekend, due to the soft ground, and we couldn't see if I was correct with that form, I am still confident he would've run a big race. Frog And Toad was beaten comfortably by Qasbaz 13 days ago, but he still ran a nice race to finish second. He's been raised 1lb for that second (is there really any need to be raised 1lb for a 2.75 length second???), but that won't make a slight difference, unless he loses today by a nostril, in which case I will be making a complaint to the BHA about that 1lb rise! But in theory, it shouldn't make a slight difference. That run last time was his handicap debut, and it was his best run by a country mile, and this race arguably looks easier.
This lightly raced son of Mehmas stayed on strongly over the 8f trip at Doncaster, so this extra 0.5f shouldn't be a hindrance. They went a good gallop last time out, which showed that he got the trip really well, so this stiffer track should be fine and could potentially suit. There isn't much predicted pace in this race, which shouldn't inconvenience him even though he stays 8f well, as he is by Mehmas, which should inject a bit of pace into his pedigree. This is only his 5th start, so there should be plenty of improvement to come.
This is a terrible race, full of horses who are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of ability. However, the jockey booking of William Buick on EASTERN STAR catches the eye, massively.
Tony Carroll isn't a trainer who uses the big name jockeys, so the fact he's booked William Buick, who is going for the jockeys championship, is something you should take note of. His record when using William to ride his horses isn't great, 0 wins from 7 runs, but he hasn't used him since 2011, where he used him once for that year, and the only time he used him before that was back in 2007 and 2006. Easten Star has been a very tricky horse to handle, and has had apprentice Mollie Phillips riding her, so the fact that connections have decided for Buick after using the apprentice for the last 3 runs, seems a statement of intent.
This filly can take quite a pull, and with the lack of pace in this race, it wouldn't surprise me to see Buick make use of her free going nature and try to make all. It would probably be a negative to try and fight against her. She is a filly who is in good form, finishing a close 4th last time out at Yarmouth, and the times before that she was placed and won. She is definitely capable of winning off a mark of 50, as she went very close under Tom Marquand at Windsor last year off a mark of 51.
She is priced up at 7/1 on a lot of bookmakers, but is 9/2 with bet365 at the time of writing, so it could be worth getting on early and not getting B.O.G, as I think she will drop in price, especially when people realise Buick is on board.
Advised: Each Way