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Just the one winner from Goodwood yesterday. The rain didn't arrive in the style I thought it would've done, but I don't think it would've made much difference at all.
Art Power is a horse I think we should stay the right side on, as he was very slow out the gates, which ruined his chances, as I expected him to make the pace. Maybe the Group 1 sprint at Haydock will be the target for him.
I've opted to avoid Goodwood again, apart from the Ante-Post pick from the other day with Wonderful Tonight running today, and it looks like we've got good value at 6/4, as she is currently 4/6.
GUNMETAL is the horse who I've landed on, and he is a horse who is on a very tempting mark, and will find this much easier than what he's recently been contesting.
A rating of 77, which is effectively 74 with the jockey's claim taken into consideration, is the lowest he's ever been rated, and he's not been rated this low since his first ever handicap mark as a 3yo back in 2016. He went close at York off this mark last weekend, and was only beaten 1.75 lengths by a well handicapped horse in Citron Major, and he was staying on strongly. This race is definitely an easier task than last time out, with the main danger being the favourite, Jordan Electrics. That horse arrives in good form, and he is more than likely the pace angle in this race. Gunmetal likes to sit handy, so ideally, I'd like Miss Becky Smith to sit just behind Jordan Electrics, or even try and make the pace herself, as this horse stays better than a lot of the horses in the field. The stiff uphill finish at Hamilton should suit this horse, where it might not suit others over this trip.
David Barron's yard is hitting a bit of form, winning five times in the last 14 days, and his RTF is 60%, which has seen a lot of his horses hitting the frame and being placed if they weren't winning.
I think they all have to beat CESAR RAPIDS in this race, as he has a very nice pedigree for middle distance races, and he made a good start in handicapping company last time out.
He is by Australia, out of a Class 1 Listed winning Mare, who has produced some brilliant horses. Allegio, Pandora and Isabella are all horses who have ‘black-type', which means they've all won or been placed in Class 1 company, on this occasion, they all placed. Also, she has produced a horse called Addis Ababa, who was a consistent handicapper when trained by David O'Meara, reaching a mark as high as 90. The list of horses this Mare has produced is a good signal that there is more to come from this well bred horse, and off a mark of 75, there should be at least another 10lbs+ of improvement to come at the bare minimum. He should find more improvement for the extra furlong, and he will handle the ground as well, which will probably be deemed as Good at the time of racing. He was beaten by a horse who was probably well handicapped off a mark of 65, and he landed the hattrick from that race, it wouldn't surprise me to see that horse follow up again off a mark of 71.
I'd imagine Battle Angel will be fancied in the market, as this horse showed a great determination and battling qualities to win at this track just over a fortnight ago. She was struggling for room, but when she found the gap, she stayed on strongly. That was over 13f, and she looked a real stayer at that trip, which seems a surprise that they've brought her back in trip, as I'd have thought they would have gone up. I think she might struggle for pace back over 11f, as she wasn't exactly cruising through the race, Jason Hart who rode her last time was stoking her up quite early on. She will find this harder off a 4lb higher mark and up in class, but she shouldn't be totally looked past.
I think Natural Value looks to be on a nice mark, but it appears that he doesn't handle turf whatsoever, and will be more of an all-weather project (that statement will probably could back to bite me).
TEMPER TRAP is following a similar path to last year, in the way that he was awful on his seasonal reappearance, ran much better second time out, losing by 1.5 lengths on both occasions, and then on his third start he won. This will be his third start of this campaign, and he looks ready to strike. Hamilton is a track which suits him, as he stays the trip well, and he won this race last year, so it has clearly been a target for him. He has been dropped 1lb by the handicapper, which is a little strange, but I won't complain, because his most recent run was a good effort.
He seems to handle any ground, so the weather forecast shouldn't effect his chances, and he likes to sit quite handy which means he should be able to avoid any trouble in running, which can be an issue if you're next to the rail at Hamilton. This race appears to be an easier assignment compared to last time, and I imagine that race will throw up a couple of winners. This is a 0-55, and a few horses do appear to have nice chances, but Temper Trap will be primed for this race, having won it last year.
The drop in trip to 10f could possibly help PUMP IT UP, who travels extremely well through her races over 11f, but always seems to get caught. This trip should allow her to use her speed a little more, at a track she seems to handle.
The going will probably be Soft, and that should be fine for this horse, as she has proven the last two times that she can handle those conditions. She runs off a featherweight of 8st 3lbs, so if the going does get testing, it should help her more than others as she'll be carrying a lot less weight. Another positive to take out is the fact she races prominently. There is a good chance that Pump It Up could get an uncontested lead, and if that happens then she could make all and not see a rival in my opinion. On soft ground, it can be very hard to make up ground from the back, so if they do decide to let her loose off a low weight, she could be hard to catch.
This isn't a strong race by any stretch of the imagination, and she was only beaten last time by a horse who was well handicapped on old form, and was well fancied on the day. At the current prices, she has a much stronger chance than the 8/1 she is priced at with a lot of the bookies.
WONDERFUL TONIGHT was an ante-post selection posted a few days ago, and was put up at a price of 6/4.
The ground has been a total disaster all week, and trying to predict it has been a nightmare. When there wasn't much rain predicted, it lashed it down, but when there was plenty of rain to come, hardly any fell. Hopefully, the rain at Goodwood does come as that will make the selection's chances much greater. She is the class horse in the race and as long as the ground doesn't get quick, she should be tough to beat.
12:00 Newton Abbot - Race: 1
12:10 Hamilton - Race: 1
12:20 Roscommon - Race: 1