Our fantastic recent record stalled on Saturday although Sound Angela (7/2) was an impressive scorer at Newcastle, and I refuse to give up on the nap Sea King who was too far back in a slowly run race later in the card. I am convinced he is a better horse than he showed at the weekend and losses may only be leant.
One of the great weeks on the racing calendar with the opening day of the Galway Festival and Glorious Goodwood coming on board tomorrow.
Good ground expected at Newton Abbot with the prospect of a couple of showers during the afternoon.
4.10 Newton Abbot
Dindin was about to win his first race on British soil when crashing out two out with the race at his mercy last week and there will be many prepared to give him another chance.
There is plenty of pace in the race and that should suit the closers One For Billy – in first-time cheekpieces – and ELECTRON BLEU (Nap) with preference for Fergal O’Brien’s 8-y-old who ran his best race yet in Britain when runner up at Southwell last time from a 1lb lower mark.
Indeed, I felt that the French import would have gone very close had Conor Brace got an untroubled passage around the home turn. He finished best of all, and I thought that was a better race than todays. He should have the race run to suit and he is taken to land his first race since his sole success at Compiegne over four years ago.
Glasses Up won the valuable 10f handicap a couple of years ago and he is closely matched with Noble Anthem on C&D form from the beginning of the month. The latter – who wears cheekpieces for the first-time this afternoon – is 2lbs worse off with the Jim Goldie trained 7-y-old for the neck he was in front of the runner up last time. I think Noble Anthem will confirm the form under Paul Mulrennan who is two from two on the three-year-old.
Enforced looked ill at ease on the firm ground on the July course last time but he looks sure to appreciate the step up to ten furlongs for the first time. Indeed, he is bred to get a mile-and-a-half and looks a danger to all with Ben Curtis taking the ride for Roger Varian.
The each way vote, however, goes to WOOTON’SUN who has been gelded since his last start at Redcar and is now just 1lb higher than when scoring at Doncaster on his reappearance back in the spring.
The form of his third to Animato last time was franked when the winner scored at Doncaster on Friday over a mile and a half and the Richard Fahey-trained three-year-old has the best draw of what I consider the principles. If Cam Hardie can get him into a decent early position, then I feel he can reward each way support.
The feature race on day one is the 2m 1f flat handicap for amateur jockey’s won last year by Dermot Weld’s Coltor who is 7lbs higher in the weights this year and comes into the race on the back of a good win at Downpatrick over hurdles.
A high draw has not been an inconvenience in this race in recent years although I do feel for that reason alone the short-priced Willie Mullins trained Echoes In Rain (21) is worth opposing this evening despite the fact that he finished runner up to Honeysuckle in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle back in the spring. If Patrick Mullins can get into a decent early position, he will be tough to beat, but he may be forced to cover plenty of ground from a draw out in the Silver Ring.
Willie Mullins has landed the prize three times in the last five years, and he could have as many as seven of the 20-strong field this evening including the 2017 winner Whisky Sour, but the one that interests me most is his FAROUT who will be ridden by Jodie Townend who landed this prize for the stable back in 2019 courtesy of Great White Shark.
The grey caught the eye when finishing a never nearer fourth in a Ladies’ handicap over 12f under tonight’s pilot at Leopardstown back in May and that was his first start on the level since moving from France.
The step up in distance is not certain to suit on breeding, but I liked the way he was finishing last time, can hopefully save ground down the inside from stall three and he has sneaked into the race from the foot of the weights. Maze Runner is another Mullins inmate to consider but Farout gets the nod despite the slight stamina reservations.
8.00 Ffos Las
The ground was described as good to soft for this evening’s card on Sunday morning and that would be fine for the mare PRECISELY although I wouldn’t want any more significant rain in south Wales ahead of tonight’s card.
The mare won a competitive heat from a 3lbs lower mark at Newbury – good – last time but that rise is negated by the 5lbs claim of Harry Davies. Trained by John Butler the 5-y-old has won on good to soft ground in the past but disappointed on her sole run on soft.
There are a couple of unexposed three-year-olds at the foot of the weights representing big yards, but I’m not overly impressed with their profiles and expect the mare to back up her Newbury success.
* Odds correct at the time of writing. All betting odds subject to changes.