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Kinross was a welcome 6/1 winner for the page yesterday, doing it well and showing a nice turn of foot when finding the gap. I've dodged Goodwood today, as it looks very competitive and it's hard to say what the ground will be. I've focused my attentions on Sandown and Galway.
VINO VICTRIX is a horse who I've wanted to back since watching him beat my selection in the race he won, Classic Lord. He was impressive that time, and it appeared he had more to come based on the manner he won.
I thought Classic Lord was a good thing in that race, so it was a surprise to see him get beat. The form of that race has worked out well, with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th all winning next time out. At Sandown last time out, that was Vino Victrix's first time at the trip, and it definitely brought out a big level of improvement. He has been put up 7lbs, putting his handicap mark up to 83, however, for some reason he is running in this race off a mark of 81, which is further lowered by Ray Dawson's 3lb claim, meaning he is running off a mark of 78, making him 2lbs heavier than his recent win. Sandown is a course for horses, and not all horses take to it, so course form is much stronger on this specific course than many of the other tracks in the country. He is well found in the market, but I'd have to say that's rightly so, as he appears the one they all have to beat.
This race does have some progressive looking horses, with the main dangers probably coming from Praiano and Winterwatch. The latter won nicely at Catterick, but I don't think that was an extremely strong contest, with the favourite hating the ground. He'll find this much tougher than his recent win. Praiano failed to win at odds-on last time, but looked to have bumped into a nice horse.
A leap of faith is placed on MARY MEEHAN who will need to show a massive amount of improvement if she is to get competitive in this, but there are reasons to believe she is much better than her 11th placed finish at odds of 100/1 on debut.
She was previously trained by Peter McCreery, was sent off on debut at huge odds, and finished 45 lengths behind the winner. Some people will think that this is a bizarre tip, as she has shown nothing so far on her only start, but she has been transferred to the master trainer, Willie Mullins. Willie has won this race 3x in the last five years, with his son Patrick riding all of those winners. What is interesting is that Patrick has chosen to ride this horse over the favourite, Memorable Daise, who has shown a much higher level of form. That alone signals to me that this horse is much better than what we've seen, and has been working very well at home. The fact she was poor on debut isn't a concern to me, as the trainer she was previously with, hasn't had a winner over the jumps in 1834 days, and a flat winner in 1791 days, so it's not a surprise to see such a lackluster performance.
If the money arrives for this horse, then it will be very interesting. She is currently priced up at 5/1 with Bet365, and has been seen a little bit of money arrive, but she was always going to be relatively low odds due to the Rider/Trainer combination.