PADDOCKS PICKS (FRIDAY)
This could well be the trickiest race of the day to predict a winner. There are a fair few in with chances in a race run over the 7f distance for horses 0-80. An interesting one for me is Acclio who is running here for Clive Brittain with William Buick on board. The horse is the highest rated in the race and may be a great price at 6/1. If you are prepared to put a line through her last performance at Doncaster where she failed badly on heavy turf then I think you aren’t discounting too much. There may be a worry about her finishing her races but connections are still confident at the trip and there may be more to come with a more experienced jockey in the plate.
Of the others, naturally Subtle Knife must be considered a danger as she beat the selection the last day and still has 7lb in hand. However, the price may be prohibitive and unless it drifts to 5/1 plus it may be a risk to side with her again. Pretty Bubbles’ consistent form also make her an interesting contender here and she will more than likely hit the frame again.
14:50 Market Rasen
We head over for a jumps contest ran over 2m4f where there are some decent horses running on what will be classed as good summer ground. Brave Spartacus ran a cracker in the Ayr Gold cup and the 9 year old comes here on his favoured ground. He hasn’t set the world alight at this track but there are no major worries about its intricacies so we will take him to run very well again.
Sam Waley-Cohen is often criticised by punters in big races as not having the know how or the strength to get some good horses home, but he is a Gold Cup Winner and has ridden numerous other cracking horses (mainly due to nepotism) but he is unfairly chided as most of racing is ‘who you know’. He rides Anquetta here and the horse would have a good chance in this grade.
There are too many to mention in here with chances but Mountain King is in form as is Anay Turge and Crookstown will likely run another belter but we will stick with Brave Spartacus at a big price to at least hit the frame.
Brave Spartacus (E/W)
There is a huge eye catcher in this race in the form of Secret Missile who comes into this contest off the back of an impressive performance last time in behind Monumental Man who to be fair was a clear runner. The selection had problems in running that day and the handicapper has been lenient only raising her 1lb. This has been offset by the use of claimer Hector Crouch who takes off 7lb here and that could be the huge difference. It’s likely she will go off as favourite but she may well be value at 9/4. In terms of form and ability there seems to be little in behind in this class 3 contest, although Iffranesia has an interesting jockey booking in James Doyle and may give the selection a headache or two but if she is on her game there should be a winner in her once again.
Secret Missile (WIN)
by David Smith
Having made a satisfactory re-appearance when forth at Lingfield recently, course and distance winner Storm Force Ten will be high on most peoples list given that the winner of that aforementioned race at Lingfield went on to win the Chester Cup here the other day. Andrew Balding four year old handles most going ad it would be very disappointing if he didn’t go close from his ok looking draw. Eshtiaal is interesting for Gordon Elliot but is rather hard to predict and one of more interest has to be Wildes who makes his turf debut for Ian Williams. Hampered the last day when in front of when just ahead of Roman Flight, it would be a surprise if his connections couldn’t find him a nice turf race and although this is clearly much tougher, he is respected as the main danger. English Summer has twice won over course and distance and is interesting on that alone, his mark looks competitive but Storm Force Ten looks to be the one today.
Storm Force Ten (WIN)
Roger Varian impressed me with his handling of fillies last season and is represented by a likely looking type in Gwendolyn in this today. A 60.000 guineas purchase as a foal, out of a German 7f listed winner, she is unlikely to be found wanting for speed and interestingly, she has Andrea Atzeni in the saddle. Guiltless initially interested me at first glance of this but the decision of retained jockey Atzeni to ride Gwendolyn is slightly puzzling and whilst we respect the Qatari owned runner, the jockeys decision is going to be followed and the Varian runner is handed the vote. Annie Salts represents a yard whom have finally begun to get the recognition they deserve for their prowess with Two year olds, an inexpensive purchase it would probably be slightly disappointing if she was good enough but if the market spoke strongly in her favour her chances would be massively respected. Others to note include Kassia, Apicus and Ejaazah though it would be disappointing if any of them with runs proved good enough to win.
Gwendolyn (E/W if 5/1+)
Suffused made an eye catching winning debut at Newmarket last season when belying he experience and staying on very strongly inside the closing stages. Connections presumably were impressed expressed afterwards that she was a bit scopey type, up an extra furlong here it wouldn’t be a total shock if she needed the run but that debut success was hard not be impressed with and she is handed the vote to remain unbeaten. Weld Al Emarat ran an appalling race when strongly fancied at Ripon the last day, its far too early to write him off but following him again at short odds looks a risky proposition and he can only be respected. Laidback Romeo in interesting given his trainers prowess with similar sort, a winner when last seen, the runner up has since gone in twice so dismissing his chances would be rash. Cliento is a little difficult to judge but has shown a fair amount of ability and won well enough last time, the Gosden yards form is another plus but the impression Suffused left us with on debut is too difficult to overlook.
by Chris Connolly