Thursday, 17 May 2018

Saturday 19th May: Red Hot Haggas The Dish Of The Day At Newbury

There’s a ton of pattern race action on Saturday with potential sprint champions and middle-distance fillies on show, however the afternoon reaches a crescendo at 3.40 with the Group One Lockinge Stakes taking place at Newbury.

Young pretenders Beat The Bank and Addeybb take on proven top level performers Rhododendron and Limato with Glorious Goodwood, Lincoln Handicap, 1000 Guineas/Oaks and July Cup form all clashing over the mile trip.

We go in with four good value bets in total across Newbury and Newmarket’s cards with improving horses taken to score on their way up the horse racing ladder:

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1.50 Newbury (Carnarvon Stakes) – Listed) – EQTIDAAR

Although strictly speaking both John Gosden’s filly Juliet Capulet and Aidan O’Brien’s colt Murillo could be of a very high standard now sprinting, there are still doubts about both over this trip until they have proven otherwise.

There are no such doubts about Sir Michael Stoute’s young speedster Eqtidaar however whose form already after just three runs is right up there with the best of these and more can be expected now that he will be towed and chased along by horses in and around the top class bracket.

Furthermore Eqtidaar is by Invincible Spirit out of an Acclamation mare, both horses who won multiple top level races over six furlongs on fast ground, and so more improvement can be expected in these conditions with a dry forecast terrific reading for the trainer.

2.40 Newmarket (King Charles II Stakes – Listed) – PURSER

With any luck, the way things will work out is that there’ll be plenty of money in the ring for Goldolphin’s Aurum based on his potential, though even with improvement he may just lack a bit of experience this time but could well push up the price of our horse.

Mutaaqeb has plenty more to give on seasonal debut as well but with Purser we have both proven ability and more potential so with a few pounds more improvement to come over this distance he rates a very far bet to take this Listed prize.

He was very much fancied to land the valuable Burradon Stakes at Newcastle at the end of March while his third to Ghaiyyath last backend reads very well and now it appears he has his optimum conditions at last.  I wouldn’t be surprised if John Gosden’s Mizzen Mast colt turned up at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes next month but he would have to win this along the way.

3.30 Newbury (Lockinge Stakes – Group 1) – ADDEYBB

William Haggas’ stable star has done nothing but improve since making his debut as a three-year-old at this meeting last year and having risen through the ranks is well fancied to earn a first Group One win.

With extended trips not to his liking, his run when taking care of Afaak in the Silver Cambridgeshire over nine furlongs last backend was a great performance and so it was no real surprise when he started off his 4yo campaign by winning the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.

What was surprising perhaps was the manner in which he took care of a typically competitive field before going on to score easily in Group 2 company last time out at Sandown.  It’s not a case of if he’ll win a Group 1 but when, especially given the competitive nature of this race.

That said we cannot say when his improvement will finish and if he takes another step forward here on nice quick ground, which I expect, then he’ll take some pegging back.

Beat The Bank of Andrew Balding’s is another who looks sure to land a Group 1 race over this distance but if he’s anything like his sire he may maintain his high level at 4 without necessarily improving a whole lot more, thus he could be vulnerable against a race-fit Addeybb.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly Rhododendron may well go off favourite and has plenty of good form in the book, however it seems we know how good she is now and so if one or both of the 4yo colts do what we expect then she’ll just fall short this time.

4.50 Newbury (Fillies’ Trial Stakes – Listed) – STREAM SONG

Although it seems highly unlikely we will see an Oaks contender from this lot, although hope springs eternal of course, there should be plenty of improvement shown from the likes of Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Hope and Aidan O’Brien’s Athena now they have their trip.

Sea Of Class is another who should be on the premises but for me the master of preparing these fillies is John Gosden and so a chance is taken on his runner Stream Song.

The Mastercraftsmen filly was engaged in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, something I think she would have won, but was pulled out leaving her nothing more than a Windsor handicap winner to this point though she is undoubtedly capable of more than that.

She’s improving hand over fist and the brilliant Frankie Dettori should be able to get a very good tune out of her, hopefully nudged her ahead at the line where it counts. 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Fri 11th, Sat 12th & Sun 13th May: Glory, Eminency And A Master Highlight Our Betting Weekend

We have top class racing across the continent this weekend with the French 1000 and 2000 Guineas taking place over at ParisLongchamp on Sunday and more classic trials taking place in Ireland too.

We concentrate largely on the domestic action however with the closing day at Chester on Friday followed by more classic trials at Lingfield where Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden may have the two big races between them, however with little in the way of value  in the Derby and Oaks trials we take on a punt on the below.

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Friday

2.25 Chester (Huxley Stakes – Group 2) - EMINENT

Martyn Meade’s Derby fourth and French Group 2 winner may not be a big price for the Huxley, however he really should prove to be a class above these and rates a confident bet to get his season off to the best possible start.

The main point of highlighting him here though is that it’s interesting to watch what could be another Group 1 middle-distance performer making his seasonal debut en route to better things this summer and he should be able to take care of the likes of Forest Ranger and War Decree.

Saturday

2.50 Ascot (Buckhounds Stakes – Listed Race) – GLENCADAM GLORY

There’s little argument that  Barsanti could win this if he is at his best, however in these conditions and at six years of age I can’t quite see it and so a chance is taken on the level of improvement the masterful John Gosden can get out of Glencadam Glory which could be considerable.

He needed to be nowhere near his best to take care of a substandard field at Wolverhampton in his sharpener there last month and it seems the Nathaniel gelding is being prepped for a summer of climbing up the middle distance ranks, starting here.

He was mixing it with some very good types early last season as a 3yo before his progress was curtailed, however with his confidence and fitness back he may be terrific value to beat Roger Varian’s stalwart as well as Sir Michael Stoute’s Mirage Dancer.

3.40 Lingfield (Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes – Group 3) – ONE MASTER

The weight-for-age given in this race, while appearing generous on paper, has rarely helped too many three-year-old fillies and so while I can see Richard Hannon’s Tajaanus running a big one, she may not cope with the in-form William Haggas runner.

One Master displayed excellent progression last season as a 3yo, culminating in her winning the Listed October Stakes at Ascot at the backend and if anything she should probably be better on faster ground.

It’s also worth noting that, not seen as a sprinter by connections, she was probably just getting home over seven furlongs back then especially on rain-softened ground and so should be right at home in these conditions as an older filly.  Tomyris also makes the shortlist on seasonal debut.

4.20 Haydock (Spring Trophy – Listed Race) – MUBTASIM

The only four-year-old in the field is the one with the most improvement in him and a look at his overall profile tells you that Mubtasim could still be on for Group success somewhere down the line over this distance.

Beaten over an inadequate 6f trip by superstar Harry Angel at the start of last season, the son of Arcano ran a blinder to be third to Le Brivido in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and, having now been gelded, has his mind firmly on the job in hand (on the track as opposed to eyeing up the fillies).

He blew the cobwebs away with a thoroughly decent third to Lancelot Du Lac in a good conditions race at Chelmsford two weeks ago over an unsuitable trip and is primed to attack this time around under the excellent James Doyle who comes here primarily to take this ride.

So Beloved and Richard Hannon’s Tabarrak could well prove to be the main dangers to a horse still entered in Group 2 races further down the line, albeit over six furlongs.

Sunday

2.35 ParisLongchamp (Poule d’Essai des Poulains – Group 1) (French 2000 Guineas) – WOOTTON

There may yet be some British and Irish interest in this classic however it looks like being one for the home side with the Henri-Alex Pantall runner Wootton for Godolphin.

While others may prefer much slower ground to be at their very best, this horse fairly cantered home on good ground at Deauville on his racecourse debut back in August and has been treated very kindly since then.

A devastating Listed race win in October was followed up with a clever, cosy front-running win under the control of Mikael Barzalona in the trial here last month and he can progress more than the rest.  Dice Roll and Hey Gaman could prove tough nuts to crack for the places but in truth shouldn’t get to Wootton.

Given the fact that Newmarket winner Saxon Warrior is to go up in trip, Wootton could well come to England at some point and be among the favourites for such races as the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

May Bank Holiday Weekend: Frankel Colt The Main Attraction On Guineas Weekend

This weekend sees the first two classics of the season run at Newmarket as the Flat season gets going in earnest.  We have a selection in both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas as well as one in the opening handicap at HQ and another in a nice fillies’ race at Goodwood, hopefully leading to plenty of profit.

Look out for Defoe running again in the Jockey Club Stakes, potential Derby and Oaks contenders in the Newmarket Stakes and Pretty Poly Stakes as well as the latest Kentucky Derby champion being crowned over in Louisville.

Here are our top picks for the weekend:

Saturday 5th May 2018

1.50 Newmarket (Spring Lodge Stakes Handicap) – SHARJA BRIDGE

Having been beaten only narrowly behind Group 1 hunting Addeybb on debut last summer, it’s easy to see why many believe Roger Varan’s charge to be well handicapped for this contest and I have to agree.

Very soft ground was no good for him when beaten at long odds-on at Pontefract on his second start but other than that he has shown himself to be highly progressive and looks like running to Listed or Group 3 standard about now with everything taken into consideration, so arriving here on a mark of 99 makes him very appear well-in.

John Gosden’s Dommersen rates a big danger so long as the “bounce” factor doesn’t kick in, i.e. he ran well last time in Listed company after nearly 19 months off the track and may not be in the same form or the same mood this time around.

If he does in fact progress from that run though he can show up well here, along with David Simcock’s Another Eclipse and Charlie Appleby’s Oasis Charm.

2.05 Goodwood (Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes) – MORI

The daughter of Frankel only just missed out at Royal Ascot last year and has had a wind operation since a couple of underwhelming performances after that run last season.

She will appreciate the softer going here and by my reckoning has shown superior speed figures on easier ground compared to today’s rivals despite not being at her best so should be right at the forefront of things here.

Mori won the Height of Fashion Stakes around this track last year over 1m2f and is in need of this extra trip, so we should see her best performance to date in this one which should be enough for the win ahead of Architecture and Isabel De Urbina.

3.35 Newmarket (2000 Guineas) – ELARQAM

Three-year-olds winning the Guineas first time out for the season are not rare, but those with only two starts certainly are however if any horse was ever bred for this job then its Mark Johnston’s star colt Elarqam.

By runaway 2011 2000 Guineas winner Frankel out of Attraction - who was a superb winner of the 2003 Fillies’ equivalent and trained by Johnston - Elarqam has this in his veins.  On what we know about him so far following his tough but classy win in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes here as well as taking a line through his lineage, I’d say we can expect a run well into the 120’s and that should make him good enough.

Despite his foibles, the potentially wonderful Expert Eye has to remain high on the list too and if settling OK and staying the trip may well show us again the sort of form which had us all licking our lips after he took the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last summer.

Forget Goodwood though; despite being beaten in a supposedly disappointing performance in the Greenham last month he ran to a mark of around 110 that day.  If any other inexperienced horse had done that in a trial without being fully wound-up you’d mark them down as a serious contender in this.

Naturally it wouldn’t surprise me to see any of Aidan O’Brien’s contenders go well while Masar, the Goldolphin runner, was hugely impressive in the Craven Stakes here but may not improve as much as some of the others between then and now.

Sunday May 6th 2018

3.35 Newmarket (1000 Guineas) – SOLILOQUY

The fact that Sheikh Mohammed paid a pretty sum to supplement Soliloquy into this race isn’t a massive pointer in itself, but a look at her overall profile as well as considering that the Boys in Blue already have Wild Illusion in the race with a live chance does speak volumes.

The daughter of Dubawi improved plenty when taking the Nell Gwyn Stakes at the Craven meeting last month and it wasn’t unexpected.  She has improved tons over the winter months and wasn’t fully wound up to take care of Altyn Order that day who just failed behind O’Brien contender I Can Fly last season in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.

Plenty more progress is expected and I can easily see her leading home her stablemate Wild Illusion who showed top class form when taking the Prix Marcel Boussac last backend, though she may want a little further than this ideally.

Aidan O’Brien’s biggest chance seems to lie with Happily, another Group 1 winner at the Arc meeting, though again whatever she achieves here can be improved upon when going up in trip.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Saturday 28th April: King's Proctor To Preside Over Leicester Win

Although the jumpers take centre stage at Sandown on their impressive looking season-ending card, the Flat action provides us with some better betting opportunities and so we’re sticking with races on the level this week.

Doncaster, Haydock and Leicester are the venues for our punting forays on Saturday with some good value to be had, especially in the handicaps.

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2.05 Haydock – LUALIWA

Although I find the sharp drop in price for Karl Burke’s Mijack interesting since betting opened during the week, I feel that the Newmarket winner has a few pounds to find with fellow four-year-old Lualiwa and its Kevin Ryan’s horse who is taken to outpoint him and score.

The seven furlong trip on this sort of ground seems ideal for Lualiwa and even the 7lb rise from the handicapper is not too much of a negative following what was a very easy win at Musselburgh first time up this season.

It was a much improved performance in East Lothian but having scored in decent races at Chester and York last season I don’t believe it’s a flash in the pan and that he could be simply moving up the ranks as plenty of 4yo’s do.

3.20 Leicester – KING’S PROCTOR

We may see a battle between two of the top five trainers in the country here as Andrew Balding’s Aiya goes for the hat-trick but may be denied by Mark Johnston’s runner, King’s Proctor.

Ayia has been doing his winning on the all-weather and I can’t help noticing the dramatic improvement he showed having left the turf behind, something which must be a worry for connections here.

King’s Proctor however won a Nottingham maiden race nicely last back end he was sent off at just 4/1 for a novice event at Windsor where he was beaten fully 14 lenghts – however that was on heavy ground and the only horse ahead of him that day was John Gosden’s Sevenna Star.

They called the gap a fluke but as I write this I am watching Sevenna Star score in the Group 3 Classic Trial making him now a potential Derby contender.

I believed the figures delved out at Windsor severely underestimated the race as it was felt Sevenna Star beat nothing that day – hopefully King’s Proctor will prove here that wasn’t the case.

A son of Cape Cross, trained by Mark Johnston, owned by Sheikh Hamdan (the younger) and ridden this time by Ryan Moore, King’s Proctor really does have an enviable equine profile and would be a popular winner.

4.15 Haydock – HIGH ACCLAIM

Roger Teal’s four-year-old used his match fitness to his considerable advantage when scoring in Doncaster’s Spring Mile last time out and a look at his profile overall shows a horse still improving steadily.

This is slightly less competitive, he can do a little better and his rise of 5lbs is not the millstone some would think so he may well go off a value second favourite behind Gulf Of Poets, though a back to form Masham Star would present just as big a danger in my humble opinion.

6.45 Doncaster – FRONTISPIECE

Some believed Sir Michael Stoute’s yard to be out of form after a few disappointing results on paper, however Crystal Ocean’s win in the Gordon Richards Stakes would appear to have banished those fears and as such it would seem we can trust another of his four-year-olds to do the business here.

Traditionally, horses of that age trained by Sir Michael come on even more than usual from their 3yo season and it would seem he has found a good opportunity to train another winner for the Queen in what has already been a celebratory week for the Royal family.

Frontispiece’s best performance last season came over 1m2f on soft ground so there are no worries regarding the conditions, a rating of 88 seeming to underestimate the Shamardal colt somewhat in the handicap too so he must go well.

He can score under Pat Dobbs at the main expense of Andok and the race-fit Sputnik Planum.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Friday 20th & Saturday 21st April: Casting An Expert Eye On Newbury

Although the Scottish Grand National is upon us – the fourth biggest betting race of the year in the UK based on turnover – we must look after our pockets and so with plenty of better punting opportunities on the Flat we concentrate on Newbury with a handful of wagers across the weekend.

Saturday sees the track host three Group Three races; the John Porter and two Guineas trials, while Friday afternoon is more about the competitive handicaps and we have a couple of good value bets in both the seven furlong and the stayers’ event.

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Friday 20th April 2018

2.25 Newbury – QAYSAR

There are plenty in here with chances on the book, rather typical of a seven furlong three-year-old handicap one could say, however for me the speed figures shown in Qaysar’s debut turf run last year allied with the excellent performance he put in on the all-weather three weeks ago mark him out as the true Kaiser in this race.

He quickened clear readily at Kempton in a novice race under Tom Marquand and now has the assistance of regular Al Shqab rider Frankie Dettory.  He may prove to be 5lbs or so ahead of the handicapper now that he can be towed along in a decent handicap and show his pace (he actually had an entry in the Greenham on Saturday).

The main danger may be Lord Oberon if seeing out the trip on turf while Moqarrar may need more time to realise his full potential but is clearly useful.

4.05 Newbury – GOLDEN BIRTHDAY

There plenty in this race by derby winner Pour Moi and/or trained by National Hunt handlers so we have a good handle on where they’re all at despite the Flat season being in its infancy, the standout performer at the weights for me however is Harry Fry’s Golden Birthday.

The 7yo has only run four times on the level, twice on turf, and has a good deal more to give over trips like this yet.  I think he ran a cracker over an unsuitable trip despite being sent off favourite when a close up fifth of six in a strong 1m4f conditions race behind Watersmeet on the all weather and can show himself to much better effect now.  Coeur De Lion and Champagne Champ may give him most to think about.

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Saturday 21st April 2018

2.00 Newbury (John Porter Stakes) – DEFOE

It’s hard to say at the time of writing what sort of price we can expect for Defoe, though I know it won’t be a big one.

Despite the tight potential profit margins involved though, we cannot lose sight of the fact that this horse improved leaps and bounds last season over middle distances and went into the St Leger with a genuine chance.  Roger Varian still sees him as a Group 1 horse and with this trip ideal, he should be too good for the improving Call To Mind and the game What About Carlo.

As a 4yo we haven’t seen the best of Defoe yet and he has always gone well when fresh, so the first time out element doesn’t bother me in this.  He has an entry in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May and will take up engagements like that this summer so long as he avoids the likes of Enable and Cracksman.

2.35 Newbury (Fred Darling Stakes) – GAVOTA

This is a proper 1,000 Guineas trial and in it I find a horse I refuse to give up on as a potential top level performer in the shape of Roger Charlton’s filly.

As a daughter of Bated Breath it’s easy to see why she had speed last season but maybe didn’t always get home when running so well in the likes of the Rockfel Stakes and the Oh So Sharp, though her level of form was excellent.

Being out of a Galileo mare I’d say she’ll appreciate this now she’s had a winter behind her and it’s interesting to note that Charlton, who doesn’t hurry them, booked top jock Ryan Moore nice and early for this outing.

She can take this ahead of a tilt at the big one on May 6th with Hikmaa and Tajaanus taken to fill the places.

3.10 Newbury (Greenham Stakes) – EXPERT EYE

Given the penchant for some racing “fans” to start bringing tribalism into the sport much like football, a few people I noted wanted Expert Eye to fail last year as he didn’t quite come from the stable they support most.

He did indeed flop in the Dewhurst Stakes but that can happen to the best of them and that performance takes zero away from what he did to strong opposition in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last year on only his second career start.

The handicapper was as taken by that as Sir Michael Stoute clearly was and saw fit to throw a mark of 118 at him, extraordinary for a 2yo, and even though that may have been exaggerated it wouldn’t be by more than a pound or two which shows you how good he is.

His price will be prohibitive today, but I couldn’t put anybody off backing him en route to the Guineas for which he could reclaim favouritism should he do the business in good style here.  James Garfield may be the main danger.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Saturday 14th April: Expect Some Pleasant Company In The Grand National Winners Enclosure

It’s all about Aintree on Saturday and furthermore it’s all about the Grand National so we have an excellent value each-way pick in the main race, plus a banker bet in the Liverpool Hurdle.

To support these selections we have a couple of nifty picks on the all-weather at Lingfield during what promises to be the biggest betting day of the year by far.  Here’s what’s on offer this week:

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2.30 Lingfield (7f Novice Stakes) – BETTY F

We won’t get much of a price about this Betty F but for once I don’t mind given that she really shouldn’t struggle against these rivals.

Even taking into account that Jeremy Noseda’s filly was dragged along by top quality horses to produce a rating of around 90 when contesting the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes last autumn she ran so well on debut that you’d imagine she is indeed a pattern filly and so should have too much for the likes of Jurz.

She was wisely put away after Newmarket and with a winter on her back and some fast work at home she can show up best of this bunch and get us off to a good start.

3.05 Lingfield (1m2f Handicap) – MOUILLE POINT

This is a tight little handicap where a number of contenders may run right up to their mark, however I think the two four-year-olds will improve past them all and with a tiny bit of potential and a better draw meaning I fancy Mouille Point of Richard Hannon’s to follow-up a recent win at the expense of Arctic Sea.

The extra half furlong and the experience should mean the Hannon filly taking another stride forward under Tom Marquand and I reckon she’ll relish this surface despite having won at Wolverhampton last time.

Overnight prices of around 4/1 look like great value for a horse which looks like rising through the handicap ranks even further.

4.20 Aintree (Liverpool Hurdle) – SAM SPINNER

Jedd O’Keefe could be on for a very big win here with his lovely six-year-old stayer Sam Spinner who for me was improving to a level significantly above these before tackling Cheltenham four weeks ago.

He was a little way behind main rival Wholestone in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the festival but that track and that meeting can catch out the best of them.  Before that it is significant that he was masterful in winning around Haydock not too far from here on a flatter track and again when taking the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Yes, his Prestbury Park outing will have taken something out of him but his rivals were there too and I’d say that we will be looking back in a year’s time and wondering why there was even a debate about who was the best of this particular bunch, particularly in the mud.

5.15 Aintree (Grand National) – PLEASANT COMPANY

Even when asking the professionals for their picks you will end up with a longlist rather than a shortlist for your Grand National betting slip, but one I like in particular is Willie Mullins’ runner Pleasant Company.

Off the track for 79 days having pulled-up at Gowran, he arrives here fresh having missed the Cheltenham festival and that will have done him the world of good.

He’s a winner on heavy ground over more than three miles and ran OK in this race last year when conditions didn’t really suit him, so now as a 10-year-old with a few more runs under his belt we should see a much better horse.

At a general 33/1 overnight and with most firms paying at least 5 places (sometimes 6) he rates an excellent each-way bet to take the National and with it the first prize of an astonishing £500,000.

Watch out for good runs from the likes of Seeyouatmidnight, Ucello Conti and Milansbar too.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Saturday 7th April: No Moment Of Madness In Backing La Figlia At Kempton

Sprinters and improving fillies are the order of the day on Saturday as, despite some decent jumping action elsewhere, we attempt to go through the middle part of Kempton Park’s all-weather card on the Flat.

There are potentially four very good value bets in Sunbury-on-Thames with the Listed fillies’ race the highlight, a contest which can potentially be won by a daughter of superstar Frankel.  Here are the weekend’s best bets:

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2.05 Kempton (5f Handicap) – A MOMENTOFMADNESS

Charlie Hills’ five-year-old got off to a very slow start on his seasonal debut at Lingfield two weeks ago but ran on well to snatch third place in a decent handicap.  He has the profile of an improving horse overall and with the benefit of that recent experience he should be fully fit now and can show his best under star jock William Buick to take this one.

Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride Tarboosh for Paul Midgley and its easy to see him continuing his improvement, though as of yet he has not quite shown his best form on the all-weather.  He’s decent value for a place though and will be very interesting when taken back to the turf for a summer campaign.

I can’t imagine Mick Easterby bringing one of his down to Kempton just for the day out so his Bowson Fred may be expected to do better than when seventh at Wolverhampton recently, though that was a valuable race and the form of it may not be too bad anyway.  Whether he can get to A Momentofmadness though is in question.

2.50 Kempon (6f Handicap) – MAZZINI

Having been improving nicely before taking a break following a slightly under-par run in November, James Fanshawe’s hope has an outstanding chance in this race at a fair price.  Having won a decent handicap easily at Chelmsford in July before running a stormer at the same track in a valuable conditions race in the autumn it’s clear he likes this surface.

The break should have done him good and with his regular rider George Wood having continued to gain experience since the horse has been off the track, the 3lbs taken off his back by the claimer now can only aid his cause further.  Expert sprint trainer Robert Cowell now has Raucous at his disposal and though he may want the former William Haggas inmate to come down in the weights a little more, he could go well now refreshed.

Plenty of others are in with place chances in a competitive race including Hammer Gun, Raven’s Lady, Pipers Note and likely favourite Tropics.

3.15 Kempton (Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes) – LA FIGLIA

I’m a big admirer of the Frankel’s and believe they will all carry on improving so it’ll be no surprise to see the twice-raced filly La Figlia leave last year’s form well behind and prove to be a little too good for these rivals.

James Doyle rides and can get her in a nice early position before probably showing a better turn of speed than the others at the business end of the race to see off likely favourite and Group One hopeful Smart Call of Sir Michael Stoute.

The former South African Smart Call did OK last season but in all honesty probably didn’t live up to expectations and will have it all to do from a wide draw, though she of course remains capable at this level.

Last weekend’s All-Weather Championships showed us that the French horses can come over and show a couple of pounds of improvement in these races and that puts Hunaina right in the picture, though should the race be as strongly run as anticipated she may well be taken off her feet slightly meaning she’ll use more energy than she’s used to in the early part of the contest.

La Figlia is entered in the Lockinge next month and is clearly expected to go onto to better things as the season progresses so anything better than 3/1would represent great value here.

3.50 Kempton (Fillies’ Conditions Stakes) – DATHANNA

The Godolphin filly is rated below her two main rivals despite having more experience and carries a penalty too, however  I feel that the French form of Crown Vallary and Model is perhaps not as good as it looks on the books and they may actually be at a level below Charlie Appleby’s 3yo.

The daughter of Dubawi will have come on a ton over the winter and I think she’ll be a stronger galloper than the other two as well as arguably appreciating this surface more.  With not much to beat in a small race she rates a fair bet under Will Buick, though she won’t make us rich.