We kick start today’s action over in Ireland at Kildare’s premier racecourse The Curragh.
The first of two selections from the venue is in a seven furlong handicap.
The current betting favourite is the top weight and five year old Your Pal Tal. The horse on its day has put in some decent performances and is more than likely to finish as one of the main protagonists but I couldn’t be with a favourite that has never won on turf after thirteen attempts and looks likely to be open to a couple of improvers.
One horse I feel could be overpriced , judging by its last run at Galway, is the JT Gorman trained Its Harry’s Girl. The lightly raced three year old has room to improve but my only concern is a drop down to seven furlongs might not be ideal especially if the ground continues to dry.
I am, like Its Harry’s Girl, going to opt for another three year old. The John Oxx trained Frozen Lake makes it’s handicap debut after a decent victory at Fairyhouse on its previous start. The horse clearly relishes the trip with a victory and three placed finishes from six attempts over seven furlongs. The lightly raced gelding could have plenty of scope for improvement and may find itself off a low mark here.
Frozen Lake (E/W if 9/2+)
Sticking at the same venue I take in one of the two group races on the card.
Rather than plumping for a runner in the earlier showpiece event I look to the six furlong sprint to hopefully bag a winner.
Anthem Alexander represents the Irish sprint king Eddie Lynam who knows just how to train big winners over the shorter distances. The horse is therefore a worthy favourite and with a decent win at Naas on its reappearance clearly trained on from last season. The two subsequent runs in England, although at a much higher standard, weren’t overly impressive however. A drop in class and a return to its native Ireland is bound to aid it’s chances but at a price around 2/1 seems much too short.
The aforementioned trainer is in a rich vain of form with a 27% strike rate in the last two weeks. Despite saddling the favourite Lynam also enters the three year old filly Fort Del Oro. She needs to take a huge step up compared to what it’s shown previously but looks to be a very lively outsider and big danger to the main protagonists.
Mareek would’ve been an obvious shout if the ground had remained soft but the increasingly quicker conditions won’t play to its strengths.
It is worth noting that English trained horses have a great record in Irish sprint races and I’m siding with the English raider. Mattmu had a great year last season and it’s level of consistency remained in 2015. It has seemed somewhat unlucky not to pick up a victory this year and may have just found its race. I am very certain that the Easterby trained horse will finished in the top three and hope that today will be the day it can be the bride as opposed to the bridesmaid.
Mattmu (E/W if 9/2+)
We end with a trip to the Midlands to take in the final race of the card at Leicester.
Silvestre De Sousa is having a memorable year and looks set to crown it all by winning the jockeys championship. This looks like another race to add to his growing tally as he rides Mick Quinn’s Racing Angel. The horse hasn’t put a foot wrong recently by winning its last two races and a four pound rise in the handicap seems generous enough. The three year old course and distance winner is by far the one to beat but I think I may have found some value at the current prices.
That value looks to be in the form of old timer Incomparable. The ten year old is a veteran of the sport in terms of a flat horse but a decent second placed finish when it raced at this venue last, the fact it is trained locally and with a win under its belt already this year makes it’s 12/1 price seem mightily generous. Yes the horse will have to find a bit to beat it’s much younger rival in the previously mentioned favourite but a chance is taken on Scott Dixon’s runner to finish in the top three, just so long as the eight runners remain.