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To walk away with no winners on Thursday is a tad annoying as I thought both had solid chances of winning, especially during the race. I thought Alfred Munnings was the most likely winner turning for home, and even up until a furlong out where he was eventually easily beaten by a horse he was well ahead of last time out. Metahorse was off the bridle early in his race, the winner got an easy lead of things and kicked for home and nicked many lengths around the bend and many furlongs from home, and that secured the win with Metahorse staying on strongly, but didn't have enough time.
Hamilton 7:05 – Khunan 5/1 (1pt Bet365)
Wow, this is a great little race for a Friday night at Hamilton. Sprints like this are a minefield, but sometimes you've got a horse who sticks out and is well-handicapped and that is Khunan.
I have reservations about the track and trip for him, if it was 6f on a flat track I'd say there's not a chance in this world that he could lose this race if given a clear run-through, but on a stiff track like Hamilton it is a concern for his stamina, especially on slow-ish ground. But, his odds are simply too big to ignore as he is so well-handicapped off a mark of 81, when you think about him finishing second in a Group 2 off a mark in the 100s, he is simply far too well-handicapped to ignore.
His run at Haydock last time out shows he is in great form, with the front two running off low marks and proving that they are a class above this level off their current ratings, as they pulled miles clear of the rest. I'll be hoping that not much rain falls at Hamilton, as though he does handle the conditions, it puts more emphasis on stamina, but at 5/1 I think that is more than a fair shout and he's worth playing at those odds, with his class probably being too much for this field.
Pontefract 7:50 – Elegant Erin 7/2 (1pt Bet365)
I say it how it is when it comes to jockeys and Graham Lee is one of those who I don't think is particularly great, but sometimes you've got to ignore the jockey and put faith in the horse that you think has the best chance of winning, and for me that is Elegant Erin in this race.
A stiff uphill track is what this horse will appreciate over the minimum trip. She travels well through her races, but has the extended stamina for a stiff track like Pontefract, and will handle the soft-ish ground which they will encounter on Friday night, when many of the others don't look particularly well-handicapped or will handle the track/ground. She recently finished behind Copper Knight on the weekend in the big field handicap at York, she was well off the pace which is always a difficult task at York in the big field races as horses towards the fore are normally the ones who benefit, which is what happened. She ran on strongly that race likes she was still in good form and that a stiffer track would play to her advantage. She has proven that she can do it at a Class 2 level as she probably would've gone close to winning the time before at Newcastle, she was held up off the pace like usual but ran into all sorts of trouble when travelling the best in that race. That was off a mark of 85 and she runs off a mark of 83 today which gives her a huge chance of winning this, if she gets a clear run, which is what I beg Graham does, and avoids the trouble.
Hamilton Park - 7:05 pm
5/1 @ Bet365
Pontefract - 7:50 pm