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It was a decent end to the month with a winner and a placed horse from four selections. Grandads Cottage rounded up a brilliant day for young 7lb claimer Dylan Johnston as he was the last leg of his treble at Leicester. Hurricane Highway finished 2nd at Exeter but ran a strange race. He was wide throughout, which I didn't have a problem with as he got a clear view at his fences, but he was travelling smoothly, then went back to 4th in quick succession before staying on again to get 2nd.
Moytier ran a solid enough race, and I think I got what I was looking for in the fact that I found out whether he was on a good mark or not as I did believe he would've won last time out if he didn't fall, but in hindsight, he probably would've come up just short. He might need a drop in trip as his last couple of furlongs weren't the strongest.
As for Lady Balko, once again she was strong in the market, but this time I thought Jack Tudor gave her a shocking ride, especially in the final furlongs. He must've switched her to the inside then outside of the winner about 3x, which was never an ideal thing to do, and she just didn't stay on as strong as the winner did, but I don't think the ride helped.
Ffos Las 2:30 – Tune In A Box 11/8 (2pt, WilliamHill)
I am a big fan of Cameron Iles who is the conditional jockey attached to the Tom Lacey yard and I think he has progressed nicely over the last season and whenever Tom Lacey books him on a horse he goes there with a great chance, so I'm siding with Tune In A Box.
We know this horse handles soft conditions so today's race and heavy ground will not pose any problems for this horse as he has won on soft ground the last two times and arrives at Ffos Las looking for the hattrick and is effectively racing off the same mark as Cameron is riding today who takes off 7lbs and Stan Sheppard rode him last time out. He won nicely last time out, much more comfortably than the winning margin of 2.75L would suggest and he looks like a progressive sort with the handicap mark still looking on the lenient side.
I wouldn't worry about the quick turnaround and the 7lb penalty as he was going to go up 7lbs anyway so he must be good nick as they could've easily run him off the same mark on a later date, so Tom Lacey must fancy his chances of running another nice race and must think he can win in this field despite it being a step up in class.
Ffos Las 3:00 – Pimlico Point 5/2 (2pt)
I do have questions about whether Pimlico Point will handle the heavy conditions as he was withdrawn on similar ground at Chepstow in December, but he won on soft ground in his PTP so he is worth a shot in this race which doesn't look too strong.
If Kerry Lee firmly believes he won't handle the ground then she'll pull him out again like she did last time out, but I think if he handles today's ground, even off 12st 1lbs he is the one to beat with him being very unexposed over fences and he made an encouraging debut at Exeter in November which saw him finish 2nd. The form of the Exeter race is mixed as other than the 3rd (Top Of The Bill) who has won on his last two starts, with the latest coming at Exeter yesterday, the others have hardly franked it, but that was Pimlico Point's first start in over 300 days and chances are that he'd have needed that run, especially with him going off at 9/1, with the money likely to be strong if he was racefit which is quite normal from Kerry's yard.
I think the majority of this field has questions to ask, the horses towards the bottom don't really have the best of form and it's up for debate whether they are ahead of the handicapper. I actually found myself thinking Coconut Splash had a chance, but that horse just simply doesn't like winning so it'll take a fair bit of faith backing him.
Ffos Las - 2:30 pm
11/8 @ William Hill
Ffos Las - 3:00 pm