Starting off today’s action with the first from Nottingham. An open looking five furlong handicap awaits but despite the large number of runners I am really taken by one of them.
Tim Easterby’s Hazelrigg ran well when finishing third last time out and should come on again for that run. The horse will relish conditions and has decent form at the course as well.
Despite the numerous runners I just can’t look past it.
Of the remaining entries the most noticeable danger is Haajes who certainly has what it takes to have a hand in this. This said however with a four pound rise since it’s last race the ten year old may not have enough to get its head in front here.
Both horses are vying for favouritism at around 7/1 but the nine year old who is now eight pounds lower than its last winning mark is definitely worth an each way punt.
Hazelrigg (E/W if 5/1+)
Over the sea to Ireland as our second selection of the day is at Punchestown in their final race of the meeting.
In all honesty it’s not the most obscure choice and the price isn’t going to be anything like a lottery win but I don’t think there’ll be a bigger certainty all day. With words such as that I have undoubtedly given it the kiss of death but Noel Meade’s Virtuoso Rouge looks a good thing.
A promising second two starts back looks decent form and it shouldn’t have to be too good a horse to beat, what may be seen as, substandard competition.
The horse that I think has the only chance of causing a remote upset is Tony Martin’s Delvin Road and with an apprentice jockey taking seven pounds off the horse it should have a chance but nothing to trouble the likely favourite.
Virtuoso Rouge (WIN)
We end the day on the sand as we take in a race on the all-weather. Kempton hosts an evening meeting and we tackle their sixth race on the card.
Today seems to be one in which I’ve gone with a few favourites and the trend is continuing throughout all three of my picks.
Godolphin are hitting form as the season draws to an end and they’re picking up winners on the artificial suffice too. I’m hoping that this race is another they can add to their tally as the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Tabjeel lines up in this. A win last time out after very respectable placed efforts all read well and although another step up is probably needed I think the horse has the ability to do just that.
The extra furlong should be a benefit to the horse and despite the dangers that both Opera Box and dark horse Yojojo possess, it’s another race where I think the favourite should prevail.
by Rory Paddock