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Wonderful Tonight was a welcome Ante-Post winner for us at 6/4. She didn't win in the style as I thought she would, but she still secured the win. Goodwood has been a disaster this week, and looking on social media, a lot of others have struggled also. Hopefully today's two selections from Chester and Thirsk will kick us off to a good start for the new month.
A competitive race, but I'm going to have a small play on ARABIST who is well treated on old form, and will hopefully enjoy a return to today's conditions.
This horse was once rated 81 when trained by John Gosden, but since transferring to Ian William's stable, his mark has dropped to 68. Even though his mark has dropped 13lbs, it doesn't tell the full story as he has run some okay races for Ian, including at this track. Arabist finished 3rd in this race last year, finishing behind stablemate Heart Of Soul by 1.5 lengths. Those two reappear in this race again this year, but Arabist is 16lbs better off than when they faced in this race last year, which must give him a big chance of at least reversing the form with that horse.
Since finishing third in this race last year, he has ran some decent races, including a 3rd at Haydock, which was seen to be his joint best run for this stable, matching the same RPR as the 3rd in this race (79). His first two starts of this year were respectable. He finished 5th at this track behind Soapy Stevens after 244 days off the track, and that was a good effort as he led for most of the way until getting tired in the final furlong, which was probably due to his time off the track. I don't think he would've won that if he has fit, as the winner was well handicapped, and did follow up in the next race, as did the runner-up, but it was a good run nonetheless. Also, he finished well ahead of Heart Of Soul, who has a much harder tasks at the weights today.
The recent two runs can be looked past as those were over 2m, and even though he ran okay on the first attempt at the trip, you'd have to say that he is probably better at a mile and a half. He was dropped 2lbs for those two runs, which leaves him on a mark of 68. Ben Sanderson takes the ride, and will take off a further 3lbs, meaning he is running off 65 and 8st 10lbs. As I said at the start, he returns back to his favourite trip, and the ground will suit. He seems to be overlooked in the market, and I think he could potentially outrun those odds for a yard who has won this race two times in the last three years.
This selection is much shorter than the first, but you'd like to think there is a good reason for that, as the form he has appears to be strong for this contest. WALDLOWE is the pick in this race for me, and I think it's always worth noting when Roger Varian sends his horses up North, as he doesn't send them out for a day-trip.
Baaeed is the horse on the tip of everyone's tongues at the moment, and rightly so, as he looks incredible after every time he runs. Waldlowe finished 4th on debut behind Baaeed, and that was a respectable first run for the yard, who were clearly not expecting much, as he was sent off at 25/1. I think that first run would've been pleasing for connections. Due to the status of Baaeed, Waldlowe and many other horses who finished behind Baaeed were sent off as favourites in their next races. Waldlowe didn't manage to win next time out, but his run wasn't without promise, where he finished 4th again. Watching the race back, I think Roger has made the correct decision in dropping him back in trip, as he travelled the best throughout that race at Newbury, and didn't seem to stay the the extra 2f. The form of that race will work out to be quite decent in the future, as the front three all look good prospects. The winner subsequently won yesterday at short odds, but won comfortably whilst carrying a penalty.
This race doesn't look as deep as the Newbury race, and you'd probably say the David Simcock horse will be the main danger. Rani Of Jhansi was probably flattered to finish as close as she did to Vesela and Seattle Rock in her first two races, as the form of those races haven't really worked out, apart from the winners who have some okay races since then.