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Some very poor runs from the pair of selections yesterday. Tile Tapper was atrocious, which was a suprise as the money came in for him. Emitom was poor despite the fact he finished second. If I'm honest, the form of that race looks shoddy. With Dan McGrue finishing as close as he did in third, that puts the form in the bin for me, as he is a 115 rated horse, who ran off level weights.
Today's racing looks a good standard for a Saturday, but very competitive. There could have been a couple more selections, but I wasn't 100% confident on them, so I'd rather give them a pass.
This is a cracking little race, with every horse in the race having a decent chance of winning the £44k prize. I think the top weight is the one they all have to beat, and I believe FANION D'ESTRUVAL has the ability to carry this big weight on testing ground.
He is 8lbs heavier for winning at Newbury in November, but the manner in which he did it was seriously impressive. That scenario at Newbury is similar to today. He goes against a competitive field, whilst carrying top weight again. He didn't bat an eyelid at Newbury despite carrying the top weight, and he cruised through the race like a horse who is Graded quality in a handicap. That run produced an RPR of 164, and that's not a surprise at all. I think that kind of run was to be expected after his eye-catching run the time before at Aintree where he stayed on extremely strong to get fourth that day behind some decent horses in Allmankind, Itchy Feet and Midnight Shadow. The form of that race alone has started to work out very nicely. Today's soft ground shouldn't be an issue, as he has won on very soft when previously trained in France by G Macaire. Lucy Turner actually takes the ride this time, so 7lbs is taken off from his weight, which is obviously very handy. Lucy has got a good strike rate, including this season.
The main rival will more than likely come from Palmers Hill who has been very productive from his two starts this season. He has been impressive in both of his wins, but this looks much tougher than those races he won. I think Killer Clown could be even a bigger threat as he won recently, and he was impressive in doing so, against some decent horses.
12:00 Nottingham - Race: 1
12:30 Nottingham - Race: 2
12:40 Curragh - Race: 1