We start up at Scotland in a Class 4 Handicap Hurdle where ten runners are going to post.
This is a race where there could be some good value on offer. Tangolan has his second run for Fergal O’Brien after being runner-up over this distance last time. The winner that day was Russian Royale, who has won since then. He should handle this ground after finishing second two years ago on firmer ground at Roscommon however he’s hard to trust considering his record since then. However the new training regime may bring the best out of him, as we have seen previously.
Politeness looks the one to beat here. A winner last time out at Wetherby and is a fairly consistent type. Craig Nichol takes 3lb off meaning he nearly offsets the 4lb raise in the weights for that success. He has two starts at the course, including a win.
The value could come courtesy of Amilliontimes. He has disappointed on both starts so far this season but could come good here at the track where he has recorded his only victory. He gets on well with Tony Kelly, whose claim takes him back to that winning mark of 102 and could get involved in the closing stages. The only slight concern would be the quick ground, which he hasn’t encountered before. If he can find the form of last season he can go fairly close in this trappy contest.
The Ice Factor could bring some chill to the heatwave. Two good efforts with a disappointing one in between is likely to go well carrying relatively little weight. However he’ll need to find improvement at this level.
Time for a change of pace as we go summer jumping. A trip to Worcester is on the cards for Division II of this Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Patricktom Boru has had three runs for Evan Williams so far, who seems to have revitalised this eight-year-old. Of those three starts he has won two both at this level – one over fences and one over hurdles. After his third at Ffos Las he has been freshened up somewhat by a three-week absence and looks like he could take some beating back in this class. In his two wins he has shown his stamina, pulling clear over fences while over hurdles he showed his battling qualities. The perfect mix and he can continue on his upward curve in this company.
Tachbury is the interesting runner. Two runs for Tim Vaughan over fences have brought about improvement. He was second last time off a mark of 82, in this race he’ll run off a mark of 74 with 7lb claimer Alan Johns on board. With all the weight he is getting from his rivals he looks the interesting contender back over hurdles. He looks the main threat to the selection after upsetting the Moore gamble at Fontwell two starts ago.
Stand Aside is still a maiden and hasn’t shown too much. He would be worth looking at off a lower mark and possibly with a claimer on board. Interpleader looks a quirky type just by the amount of headgear he has on. His only win has come over fences and with Martin McIntyre claiming 7lb he is back to that mark and could be prove a threat. The best of the rest may prove to be Shady Glen, who bounced back last time out on this quicker ground. He is a consistent type and one that you could be interested in backing each-way.
Patricktom Boru (E/W if 9/2+)
We conclude with by looking at the final race on the Thirsk card, which is a Class 5 Handicap.
Cadeaux makes his handicap debut here for Michael Dods. His two runs in maidens and one in a maiden auction weren’t too bad. His best effort was when third over six furlongs behind Tom Dascombe’s Excilly, who won a fillies Listed race at Carlisle last Wednesday. So far he has taken a keen hold in his races but with the first time cheekpieces he’ll be able to settle and show his full ability off a fair mark of 68.
The handicapper is giving fellow three-year-old Pumaflor a good chance here. He was a winner over course and distance 15 days ago and has only gone up 3lb. With conditions to suit he could go well from a middle draw to back up that success.
Tanawar won over further in an apprentice race last time out. Off the same mark he the question mark is now about whether this trip is ideal. The switch from the blinkers to the visor seemed to help too last time but for me he is one that needs further or a strong test of stamina here. Jay Kay returns from an absence of 230 days and will be better for this run. This is his optimum distance but the ground may be too quick for him to show his best here.
The pace angle comes from James Given’s Kung Hei Fat Choy. He was too keen when behind Pumaflor last time but when winning at Musselburgh he did make all. MIlkwood is dropping in class here and is off a very attractive mark. He won off a mark of 73 in October and races here off 69. With firm ground and a good draw he could put his disappointing efforts behind him here.
Cadeaux (E/W if 9/2+)