Friday presents us with a cracking day of racing, with a mixture of quality flat and jumps racing from some of the best track in the country.
IRISH ROE is an old favourite of mine, and there's no reason why she shouldn't have a great chance of winning this race, like she did in 2019.
Her comeback run was a fine effort at Cheltenham, where she finished 3rd in a Class 1 Listed Mares race, where she travelled well throughout the race, but her fitness probably told. The form of that race has been boosted by the 4th horse, Regarding Ruth, who has since won a Class 3 by 6 lengths. Irish Roe has been dropped 3lbs for that race, which is fair, but it means that she is looking well handicapped off a mark of 127. Her last win came in this race in 2019, off a mark of 134, so it wouldn't surprise me if Peter Atkinson had this race as her main target, and the race at Cheltenham was a prep run.
She's a lovely mare who runs on any ground.
Advised: Each Way (4 places most firms or 5 with William Hill)
I backed JOHNBB last time out at this track, and I thought he ran a blinder, and with him only being 3lb higher today, I can see another big run from the lightly raced 7yo.
Last time out he was 2.75 lengths behind Happygolucky, who brought some good form into the race. Happygolucky was second in a competitive handicap at the Cheltenham festival, and before that he was 2 from 3 over fences, so was a progressive horse, so for Johnbb to run as close as he did rates as good form.
That run was after a 105 day break, so he's entitled to come on for that run. He's still lightly raced, having only raced 6x over fences, so you'd like to think there's improvement to come.
Advised: Each Way (4/1, but in a race like this I'd rather be conservative, and see it like a bet to nothing if he places)
Though he will be carrying a penalty, I still think that TWILIGHT PAYMENT has a big say in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes (Listed Race).
Last years Melbourne Cup winner, is a previous winner of this race, and he always seems to run a big race in it.
He's raced in this race 4x and has been placed 3x and won it once. The times where he was placed, he was behind one of the recent staying greats, Order Of St George, and then last year he was behind Nickajack Cave. Last year he made his seasonal reappearance in this race, so that was still a good effort. The times before that he's had a race before going into this race, this is what has happened this year. He recently finished 3rd behind Broome, which was a good return.
It will be a tough ask to give away the 5lbs, but he is more than capable of doing it, as I think he has the beating of Master Of Reality. Search For A Song might need the run, and as for Aidan & Donnacha O'Brien's runners, I'm not sure what level they are up to.
TWEET TWEET was mightily impressive last time out at Thirsk, where she beat a few horses who she opposes again today.
She is rapid, and will always be the type of horse who runs from the front, which I think will suit this track. I've seen it on a few occasions over the last few years, where horses get an easy, and the rest of the field struggle to peg them back. A recent example would be Winter Power at York yesterday.
The 10lb rise in the weights will make her life tougher, but she could've come on for her seasonal reappearance (200 days off the track before her win), and she's still lightly raced, so she could still be well handicapped off a mark of 88.
12:05 Thirsk - Race: 1
12:20 Stratford - Race: 1
12:40 Thirsk - Race: 2