A mix of good and good to firm ground for this afternoon’s card and the first four home from a 1m 5f handicap at Ayr back in June lock horns again.
Dark Jedi showed the best turn of foot to come from the rear of the field on that occasion and he ran well on his sole subsequent start at Newmarket in a valuable and competitive handicap last month.
I thought Happy – who surprisingly heads the market at 5/2 - missed a gilt-edged opportunity at Sandown last time but it would be no surprise to see him go one better this afternoon although the nod goes to RAVENSCRAIG CASTLE who meets the Ayr winner on 4lbs better terms for the length-and-three quarters he was behind Dark Jedi.
Trainer Iain Jardine has had a quiet season, but he has already had a couple of winners this month and he ran a terrific race over two miles here last September on his sole previous visit to the track when runner up to Haizoom. He meets the winner on 9lbs better terms today for less than a length he was behind Keith Dalgleish’s filly and that should be enough to reverse the placings.
The Gay Blade is another Jardine inmate who could go very close in the 7f handicap, but I think this can go to DOOMSDAY (Nap) who was carried across the track when third at Leicester over a mile last time having scored at Catterick over this distance on his penultimate start.
Granted a clear run I do feel Bryan Smart’s 3-y-old would have backed up that success in the East Midlands and regular readers will be aware that I am a big admirer of Harry Russell who takes over in the saddle and, at the time of writing, Smart has saddled two winners from his last four runners.
LADY RAEBURN steps up to seven furlongs for the first time and she has been staying on well over shorter of late to suggest she will cope with the extra distance this evening.
Karl Burke’s filly is certainly worth a try at the trip on breeding and was certainly not stopping when third at Doncaster last time behind the promising Willem Twee who holds a Group 1 entry.
Jilly Cooper looks sure to go from the front, but the hope is that Neil Callan can swoop fast and late on the selection who can be slowly away, but broke on terms in South Yorkshire last time.
Molinari has won his last couple for Martin Todhunter including over this evening’s 12f trip at York last time from just a 3lbs lower mark. If he is to land his hat-trick he will have to defy a career high mark, however, and marginal preference is for the lightly raced maiden ATACAMA DESERT for Kevin Frost who has won with two of his last three runners.
The selection – half-brother to Breeders Cup Turf winner Main Sequence - only raced once for Sir Michael Stoute and has only raced twice on turf for his current yard. He should have the race run to suit with Colinton and Molinari likely to go forward and the hope is that David Allen can pick up the pieces on the gelding.
* Odds correct at the time of writing. Subject to changes.