This is one tricky weekend with action all over the place. Nonetheless, we are looking for some value.
In the Fillies’ Handicap at Newbury (4.05) I really like the claims of the Roger Varian trained JULIA AUGUSTA who has looked very smart in both her starts to date, and can make it three wins from three here. The yard are in flying form (have been operating at over a 30% strike-rate for July), and this daughter of Ulysses bolted up in a minor event at Thirsk last time out, and now has to be taken seriously delving into handicap company off a mark of 90. She showed good gears last time out and can get the job done here.
I think the rest of the card looks very difficult, but in the Handicap over an extended 2m (2.21) I wouldn’t rule out a revival for RAINBOW DREAMER. Hollie Doyle is in cracking form at present, and she takes the ride on the nine-year-old, who drops into much calmer waters after finishing 9th in the Northumberland Plate. This is his second start after a wind-op, has winning form at the venue, and enjoys quick ground. Off a mark of 91, he looks fair each-way value.
Switching attention to the Jumps, and I like PISGAH PIKE from an each-way perspective in the Summer Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen (2.41). The Jamie Snowden trained seven-year-old probably needed the run over fences at Newton Abbot last month when trailing home last of seven runners. It was his first start for 8 months and after a wind-op, so he is entitled to come on a bundle for that outing. His jumping was poor, so the switch to hurdles off what could be an attractive mark means this relatively unexposed sort could easily get in the shake-up with Grade 1 winning jockey Gavin Sheehan in the saddle.
Over at Cartmel, the Crystal Cup is worth over £20k to the winner, and I am going to take a chance with the Nicky Henderson trained FUGITIVES DRIFT (3.03). The horse just doesn’t enjoy fences, but this enigmatic sort could easily get competitive returning to the smaller obstacles with conditions to suit. The tongue-tie and cheek-pieces go on for the first time, and if they have the desired effect, then he could easily bounce back here with Nico de Boinville in the saddle. He has winning form at the idiosyncratic track so shouldn’t be dismissed.
Best of luck!
Rainbow Dreamer, 0.5pts e/w, Newbury 2.21
Pisgah Pike, 0.5pts e/w, Market Rasen 2.41
Fugitives Drift, 0.5pts e/w, Cartmel, 3.03
Julia Augusta, 1pt win, Newbury 4.05