PADDOCKS PICKS (FRIDAY)
16:10 Newmarket (Pundit – David Smith)
We head to the Cambridgeshire track for our opening selection for a maiden fillies’ stakes raced over 1m4f for horses in the class 5 division. The one that immediately takes the eye is Forever Popular based on her last run and the fancy entries which she holds. Connections are clearly very sweet on her based on her entry in The Oaks next month. She may be a short price here but if she recaptures the form of her last run and the clear aspirations that the owners and trainer have for her then she could run a big race here.
Destalink under Martin Harley may be the best of the rest here and has only one run under her belt when a creditable 4th on her debut. These famous colours haven’t quite hit their straps yet this season and that may be the reason the horse may strip fitter for the run.
Bess of Hardwick may also be a contender should see run like she did on her debut but the selection is hard to oppose and any different result would be a surprise
Forever Popular (WIN)
16:30 Newbury (Pundit – David Smith)
An interesting race run at the Berkshire track over 1m3f as a handicap takes place at 16:30. One that immediately jumps out is Yeats Magic. There was a lot to like about her debut performance on the Tapeta over at Wolverhampton and with John Gosden’s team showing admirable form up at York then there could be a huge case made for the horse to improve on again. Certainly given that she is put in this company pretty much straight away is interesting. Peterhof is another interesting contender straight into handicaps off the back of a debut win under Ryan Moore. He steps aside now to ride up at the Dante meeting and Pat Dobbs takes the reins. The issue I would be conscious of is that Sir Michael Stoute has started the season very slowly.
Isamol is the one that I like most and the two runs that the filly has had so far have been very encouraging. Amanda Perrett’s charge comes here with Jim Crowley staying south for the ride and I think that could be a significant move. The horse is nicely handicapped and could be a decent price each way to get amongst the winners here.
Isamol (E/W if 5/1+)
16:40 Newmarket (Pundit – Chris Connolly)
Most here will be looking towards the Ed McMahon trained Express Himself whom was a massive eye catcher when looking desperately unlucky at Pontefract last time. Interestingly today, connections have decided to book craic apprentice Cam Hardie and whilst that has to be taken as a positive, it should be remembered that former champion Paul Hanagan was responsible for giving him the stinker he received last time. Wistar is unexposed and should improve on his re-appearance, there is no real reason to see him reversing form with Express Himself though and we can only hope that Cam Hardie is alive to any potential dawdling up front.
Express Himself (WIN)
17:20 York (Pundit – Chris Connolly)
Yorkidding has frustratingly cost us before and did exactly that when looking home for all money before being nailed at Nottingham last time. Mark Johnston’s decision to give her an extra 2f to run at does look a wise one however and so whilst she must improve to win, she is taken to do just that. Rosenbaum has done nothing but improve and was impressive when brushing aside a nice type on the sand last time, he is proven over the trip and deserves respect, he is also 12lbs higher in the weights though and is probably worth taking on. Dawn Missile and Shalabina are both extremely unexposed and could be anything, both are worth watching in the market but both must improve significantly to take this.
17:25 Aintree (Pundit – David Smith)
The Road Ahead looks for a hat-trick in this mares’ hurdle over 2m4f at the Liverpool track. She will have to win at a career high mark but there was so much to like about her previous two wins that you would have to think she is capable of further progress. Sean Bowen is a fine young jockey and he is certainly one to keep on the right side of and should there be discernible change in the ground then the course and distance winner would have an excellent chance. She loves the good ground and although she has performed admirably on good to soft, good would be preferable.
Indian Stream comes here in really consistent form but hasn’t beaten the calibre of opposition that the selection has and that tempers whether to have money on it. She has run well recently but also goes up for that and may just find one too good here. Whatdoesthefoxsay has also been very consistent but again it’s the quality of opposition that she has beaten that offers the most concern so The Road Ahead gets the nod
The Road Ahead (E/W if 5/1+)
17:35 Newbury (Pundit – Chris Connolly)
Gimme Five is becoming most frustrating to follow having looked unlucky a few times yet following it up with very modest efforts, he is a real danger here but having given him a few times before, its time I cut my losses. Felix Fabulla is from a stable firing at present, this represents a big drop in class for him and he is very likely to be close up at the business end. Bari is unexposed and should do better now handicapping, today is a stern test however. Swift Blade is another to drop in class, his claims are very strong and he’s pretty consistent despite being a sort who struggles to win, his jockeys claim makes him very interesting indeed and as such he is feared the most. Shades Of Grey probably needs the rain to arrive to be seen at her best, rain is forecast however and she has run well after a break before. With Tom Marquand booked, the rain looking likely to arrive and the stable banging in winners, she is taken to run them down at her favourite course.
Shades Of Grey (E/W if 6/1+)