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A poor day yesterday with both singles and double losing. Four selections this Saturday, which is three less than last weekends bloodbath. Hopefully, we can all have a few winners. Enjoy your weekend.
It appears like GOLDEN APOLLO is running himself into a bit of form, with a couple of good efforts in the last two runs.
He has ran in this race a few times before, going close on a few occasions:
- 2020 – 2nd, losing to Muscika (races in this race today), off a mark of 91.
- 2019 – 4th, off a mark of 90.
- 2018 – 2nd, losing by a neck, off a mark of 94.
Today, he races in this off a mark of 88, which is the lowest he's been when racing in this specific race, which means he must have a cracking chance. This is obviously a very competitive handicap, and there are plenty you could back in this race, so playing this as an each way bet is probably the most sensible.
Last time out at Pontefract, I think he ran a huge race to nearly win and beat the well handicapped, Corinthia Knight. That day at Pontefract, it was best suited to switch to the near side on the home straight, as that was where the best ground was. Golden Apollo decided to go against the grain and race on the far rail. The fact he was beaten by 0.5 lengths shows it was a huge effort, especially when you consider the fact that Corinthia Knight was on a very good handicap mark, and went close over C&D the time before, and was a winner in waiting.
He seems to handle any type of ground. He's won on soft, and ran well again on soft last time, but he also handles a quicker surface, which he'll get tomorrow. He won the Ayr Silver Cup on good ground, and went close last year in this race on Good To Firm ground.
Advised: Each Way
Ghadbbaan appears to have a really nice chance in this race, due to his low weight, but I am siding with last years winner, MONSIEUR LAMBRAYS.
It's been a hard journey for Monsieur Lambrays since he landed this race 12 months ago. He's had to race is better company ever since, as his rating went up to 92 as a result of that win, which has made like difficult for him. However, in the two most recent starts it appears that he might be firing on all cylinders again. His seasonal reappearance was eye-catching to say the least, despite the fact he finished last out the four. He seemed a little fresh, made life difficult for Jack Mitchell, with his dodgy head carriage, but he looked like he was going to have a big chance, until tiring in the last furlong. That was over 14f, which was clearly used as a pipe opener for another race in mind. That race they had in mind was the Northumberland Vase Handicap, the consolation race of the Northumberland Plate. He finished 13th in that race, but that doesn't tell the whole story. He was making headway in the final few furlongs, but he met trouble in running and was badly hampered, and that was the end of his race. I think he would've been much higher up the field if that didn't happen. He was dropped 2lbs for that run, which is very handy, as it will make his life a little easier in this race today.
He won this race last year, and it's not a surprise to see him back here after a couple of good efforts, and it's probably been the plan since the Newcastle race. He is 2lb heavier than his win in this last year, which could be an issue as conceding the weight to the couple of runners at the bottom of the weights could be difficult. However, he is probably the classiest horse in the race, which seems mad to say in a Class 4, but he is capable on carrying this weight and winning. The ground should be perfect for him, and the drop back into a Class 4 should hopefully help.
MARSABIT is a horse I've been referring to a lot in recent weeks, in terms of form, and I think he has a nice chance in this race, despite stepping up in grade.
A mark of 84 still looks workable, after winning by 1.75 lengths last time at Leicester, winning under hands and heels for Oisin Murphy. This race will obviously be much harder as he is taking on much better horses, such as Mystery Smiles who is rated 102, and every other horse in the race is rated at least 90, except for the selection who gets in at the bottom of the weights at 8st 3lbs off 84. The form of the latest run hasn't had any runners run from it yet, but the time before has worked out very well. The 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th have all won since.
I do think that he is well worth his spot in a race like this, as he's done nothing wrong since the start of this season. He's been very progressive, and has gone up 15lbs since his seasonal reappearance in April, and it's hard to say where his ceiling is yet. The fact he won under hands and heels last time is a good indicator that there is plenty more to come, whether if it's in a race of this nature, or an easier race, we'll have to wait and see.
A horse who has looked better than a handicapper at certain points of his career is MATTHEW FLINDERS, and last time was one of those occasions where he looked better than a mere handicapper, when he finished 2nd in a Listed Race at Chester. His performance for that race was given a rating of 107 by the Racing Post, and the BHA agree, and will be putting him up to a mark of 108 as of next Tuesday, which means he is in theory 10lbs well in and is seen to be a group horse in a handicap.
His run last time out was a cracking effort, but it didn't seem like people weren't expecting it. He went off at 11/2 for his very first Class 1 race, where he was many lbs inferior to his rivals, but was racing off level weights. He finished 2.5 lengths behind Safe Voyage, who in previous years has been a Group 2 and fringe Group 1 horse. To be second to a horse like Safe Voyage is a good run, but he finished in front of Oh This Is Us, who has been in tremendous form this year, winning a Listed and Group 3 race, and is a horse who likes Chester. Khaadem was backed in fourth, and is rated 107, but that horse is a bit of an enigma, and will turn up when he wants to.
The fact that his new rating hasn't kicked in, makes him a very attractive selection, as he should be 10lbs heavier. He's drawn in stall 20, which is a big benefit in the big field handicaps on the straight track at Ascot, and is drawn next to the favourite, who should hopefully bring him into the race, if need be.
7f seems to be what Matthew Flinders has been wanting all along, as that was his first attempt at the trip, and that was arguably a career best. I think this more conventional track, with a stiff finish will bring out more improvement.
Advised: Each Way