SATURDAY WEEKENDER

14:15 Musselburgh

Furiant ran no sort of race when last seen at Beverley two weeks ago, beaten into 6th place and taken off her feet in the opening stages, she made no sort of impression. There is certainly more to come from this Mark Johnston daughter of Invincible Spirit but I am not sure this is the race to show it. The pedigree suggests that the horse will want further in time but has an another crack at the minimum here and it will be very interesting to see if she can turn the form of the last run around.

Johnston also runs First Party here and after a good first run (winning at Notts on good ground) is put into this conditions’ race on a very good mark. Johnston normally has his runners primed for Glorious Goodwood and with that meeting nearly two months away it’s safe to say he may be keeping his powder dry for events like this one up at the Scottish track. First Party may be a short price but with the trainer’s own admission that he wouldn’t take jockey Silvestre de Souza over anyone on his day and the jockey’s form I would think this is the Yorkshire-based Scot’s best chance of landing the spoils.

Richter Scale has shown that in her two runs so far that she could be a very nice type for Michael Dods’ but the price may be prohibitive at 7/4 or if she wins like she did last time out it could be huge. The form of her 3rd place at Ripon has worked out as the two who beat her that day have shown up well subsequently in hot races at Haydock and York and the manner of her victory at Thirsk the last day, winning by 6 lengths over the minimum trip makes her a very interesting contender and the one to beat.

Richter Scale (WIN)

 

16:45 Hexham

Not the greatest of contests for this class 3 contest at the beautiful North East track but a couple of interesting runners should make it a compelling one for fans of national hunt. Looking through the card, the first name that jumped out at me was Vodka Wells who won well two starts ago for Brian Ellison. He ran no sort of race the last day in a hot handicap at Haydock behind some quality horses and his 21lb rise that day was far too much to overcome. That rise came off the back of absolutely bolting up at this track back in April. He’s back on a much more workable mark and should run a really big race.

Aidan Coleman and John Ferguson team up with a nice type in the shape of Broughton, who on the pick of his form could well be a really hot candidate for a race of this quality. Back in Feb 14 he beat Clarcam and whilst the progression hasn’t been as expected but he may have too much for these based on that. At just 5 and with only 12 starts to his name a return to form could be on the cards. The main concerns would be the lack of follow-up to that defeat of the French horse and the break from the track. A big run is expected nonetheless.

Restraint of Trade has been a very consistent sort and could be the other horse to trouble the selection. Peter Carberry is an underrated young jockey around this track and is the only horseman to get the colt home with his head in front. Whether or not he will have enough for this group is uncertain but he should be there or thereabouts again.

Broughton (E/W if 9/2+)

 

19:10 Newcastle

We stay in the North East but switch codes for this class 5 handicap over 1m3f and start with a horse looking for a hat-trick after two very game victories the last two runs she has had. I backed So It’s War at Redcar last week and she rewarded her followers with a very strong finish to see off another horse who gets even more weight this time in Brocturne Papa Gio. There are 7 pounds between these two rivals and that jumps from 4lbs difference the last day. The former’s attitude is beyond question as she always battles to the line but is the horse’s highest mark too high for her to repeat that victory of last week?

Rocket Ronnie could be a selection for value in the race with Graeme Lee taking the ride for Ed McMahon. The horse has run well in some decent contests and is now on a much more workable mark. The main concern is that So It’s War beat the filly into 4th in that same race at Redcar and is a 2lb swing (taking the weight difference up to 4lb) may not be enough to turn the tables for win purposes.

Shearian at 10/1, however, could be a huge price. The nicely bred filly out of Royal Applause has been very consistent recently and certainly at Newcastle where two second places in handicaps of this type make her a very realistic prospect for at least a place. So it’s War’s quick reappearance may be interesting and she may be the one to beat but at 7/2 and off a career high mark, Shearian could be the real value.

Shearian (E/W)