Thursday 26 September – Dascombe’s 7/2 chance can soar highest to land Pontefract success
Brian Healy gives his race by race selections and best bets for every meeting across Thursday’s six UK and Irish racemeetings.
Six meetings go to post across the UK and Ireland on Thursday, and day one of the Cambridgeshire Festival meeting goes to post at Newmarket where the Group Three Somerville Tattersalls Stakes is the feature race of the day at Flat HQ.
There is also afternoon flat racing from Pontefract, and also from Gowran Park in Ireland which hosts a rearranged fixture that was lost last weekend; while Perth are racing over the sticks.
Meanwhile, in the evening there is all-weather action with racing on the Southwell fibresand as well as from Chelmsford’s polytrack surface.
Perth (jumps) – 1.30 – 4.55pm (7 races)
Newmarket (flat) – 1.50 – 5.50pm (8 races)
Gowran Park (flat) – 2.05 – 5.25pm (7 races)
Pontefract (flat) – 2.15 – 5.40pm (7 races)
Southwell (flat, aw) – 5.15 – 8.15pm (7 races)
Chelmsford (flat, aw) – 5.30 – 8.30pm (7 races)
(2.00) It could be worth forgiving MURPHY’S LAW (6/4, Paddy Power) his recent chase debut at Hexham where Keith Dalgleish’s Gold Well gelding broke a blood vessel, and that run is perhaps best forgotten.
The five-year old had won the time before over hurdles when beating Craig Star by five lengths at Bangor, but he had been denied a neck behind River Icon over this course and distance in July and if he can run up to a similar level over the larger obstacles then he could go close here.
Also placed in point-to-points previously, he is given another chance to show what he has to offer over fences, and if none the worse for that last mishap then he ought to go close here.
(3.45) Course and distance winner DEEPSAND (10/1, Paddy Power) hasn’t been seen out since finishing third behind Tim Rocco at Newcastle back in March, but having had wind surgery since it could be worth chancing on Lucinda Russell’s charge to make a winning return in the wake of seven months off.
The Footstepsinthesand gelding last tasted success when scoring at Haydock back in January 2017, but he has been lightly raced since and showed he retains plenty of ability when finishing four lengths’ third behind Tim Rocco latest.
He has shown he can go well fresh in the past, and he’s been eased 1lb in the weights following his last run; so while he isn’t getting younger he can remain competitive in this field and every chance he can go close if he is fully wound up here.
1.30 – Guardia Top
2.00 – Murphy’s Law
2.35 – Never Be Enough
3.10 – Wholestone
3.45 – Deepsand
4.20 – Chanceiton
4.50 – Chocolat Noir
(2.10) TARAMANSOUR (15/8, William Hill) shaped with some ability on his debut at Leopardstown last month, finishing third behind Comorant, and the Dansili colt can build on that experience to get off the mark at the second attempt.
Dermot Weld’s charge was beaten little over one length on that occasion, keeping on well but proving no match for the front pair, and that form looks decent with the winner and runner-up both contesting the recent Group Two Champion Juvenile Stakes.
Sure to improve for that debut effort, he can open his account at the second attempt and he could prove a useful prospect in his own right.
(3.55) MIA MARIA (Evens, Coral) struggled in Group Three company latest when finishing down the field behind Goddess in the Snow Fairy Stakes; but Dermot Weld’s charge could be worth chancing to bounce back to winning ways.
The Dansili filly had won the time before at the Curragh where she scored over one mile at the expense of Bellakris on her return from ten months off the track, and she ran better than the bare result latest although she was no match for the winner.
This is easier, and she had finished third here on her debut so could well prove a tough nut to crack with improvement likely; while she is well-treated on these terms based on her official rating and so a big run wouldn’t come as a surprise.
1.40 – Even So
2.10 – Taramansour
2.45 – Shenanigans
3.20 – Istoria
3.55 – Mia Maria
4.30 – Bobby Cool
5.00 – Conversant
5.35 – Fulvio
(2.25) Although well beaten behind Mums Tipple at York in August, LOVE DESTINY (9/2, Bet365) has won either side of that outing and could be the way to go in this handicap contest.
Mark Johnston’s charge probably found that six furlongs trip too sharp on the Knavesmire where he beat only a handful home behind the hugely impressive winner. But he had won on debut over seven furlongs at Chepstow seven days later, and he returned to that trip latest to beat Silver Samurai by a half-length at Chelmsford.
The Lethal Force colt found plenty for pressure to score despite giving away weight all round, and a step up in trip to one mile here on his handicap debut could unlock further improvement. He has been handed a workable opening mark for this outing, and with the yard in decent form at present he could find another jolt of improvement to strike again.
(3.35) WICHITA (15/8, William Hill) bumped into the useful Mothalam when finding only that rival too strong in Listen company at Doncaster three weeks ago, and Aidan O’Brien’s charge is taken to get back on track here.
The No Nay Never colt had won on his debut at the Curragh last month, beating Fiscal Rules by a head despite only needing pushing out under hands and heels under a confident ride.
That form perhaps isn’t the strongest, but the impression he had left on that occasion was duly confirmed next time when he was just unable to overhaul the winner, and he likely has better still to come after just two starts.
Still unexposed in comparison to a few of his rivals here, he holds a Group One entry in the upcoming Vertem Futurity Trophy so is clearly a well-regarded sort; and open to further improvement he is chanced to get back to winning ways in this contest.
1.50 – Discovery Island
2.25 – Love Destiny
3.00 – Chil Chil
3.35 – Wichita
4.10 – Withhold
4.45 – Travel On
5.20 – Top Rank
5.50 – Quick
(2.50) HIGH FLYING BIRD (7/2, Coral) has shown some useful form in novice and maiden company, and Tom Dascombe’s charge can find a chunk of improvement now sent handicapping.
The Reliable Man filly was last seen finding only one too good at Leicester earlier in September, beaten just over one length behind Amber Island and shaping as if she might appreciate a stiffer test.
It is no surprise then that she steps up in trip for this first try at a handicap, and featuring from a workable opening rating there could be more to come and she can progress again to get off the mark now.
(4.00) AYUTTHAYA (11/8, Bet365) is a largely consistent sort, and Kevn Ryan’s charge ended his losing streak when scoring in the mud at Haydock earlier in the month.
The Lope De Vega gelding was snapping a losing run stretching back to April 2018 where he struck at Thirsk; but his subsequent runs following that performance have been creditable in the main and he has made the frame on a host of occasions prior to his return to winning ways.
He had Qarasu just over one length in arrears when successful latest, and a 4lbs rise in the weights still leaves him well-treated on his old form. He could be worth chancing then to follow up in this contest with another win, and he should go close with a repeat.
2.15 – Vasari
2.50 – High Flying Bird
3.25 – Young John
4.00 – Ayutthaya
4.35 – Max Vega
5.05 – Sheepscar Lad
5.40 – All Points West
(6.00) COBBER KAIN (4/7, Bet365) made a winning debut over this course and distance earlier in the month, beating Strait Of Hormuz by one length, and John Gosden’s charge can improve on that initial experience to double up here.
The Sepoy gelding made most of the running that day, and despite the relatively modest margin of victory he did appear to score readily and may have more to offer on the back of that first outing which should have taught him plenty.
He was giving away experience on that occasion, so he ought to know more this time around and with the potential to improve he could be worth keeping onside despite having to give weight away all round this time.
(7.00) EXCELLENT GEORGE (7/4, Bet365) boasts a solid record at this venue, and the Exceed and Excel gelding is a three-time winner who arrives in decent heart following a pair of near-miss efforts on turf earlier in the month.
Stuart Williams’ charge last tasted success at Newmarket last August, beating Top Boy, but his subsequent form was patchy and he returned from a six-month break at Windsor to post recent back-to-back runner-up efforts at Windsor and Yarmouth latterly where he was denied only by a head behind Han Solo Berger.
He is unchanged at the weights for his return to polytrack, and his promising young rival takes 7lbs off his back so he could well end his losing run here with another solid effort.
4.55 – Your Mothers’ Eyes
5.30 – Islay Mist
6.00 – Cobber Kain
6.30 – Prince Rock
7.00 – Excellent George
7.30 – Universal Effect
8.00 – Compass Point
8.30 – Bollihope
(5.45) ROYAL CONTEXT (7/4, Ladbrokes) shaped with some promise on debut over this course and distance, and Michael Dods’ charge ought to improve for the experience where he can get off the mark at the second attempt.
The Acclamation gelding was beaten around three lengths into fourth behind Maystar, but he wasn’t helped by being denied a clear run and that form has been boosted since. The race-winner has since found only one too strong in a valuable contest at the Curragh, while the runner-up went one better next time at Lingfield.
Likely to have learned from that initial experience, he looks worth siding with to show improvement on the back of that debut and every chance he can open his account now.
(6.45) DAME FREYA STARK (3/1, Bet365) has shown progress with every run, getting off the mark at the fourth attempt when successful at Yarmouth last month, and Mark Johnston’s charge can follow up here.
The Leroidesanimaux filly was making her handicap debut and trying ten furlongs for the first time, and she appeared to relish the stiffer test when beating Catch My Breath by just over two lengths. She made all that day, winning cosily, and a subsequent 6lbs rise looks workable with the potential for improvement to come.
A further step up in trip could unlock additional improvement, and if she takes to this surface then every chance she can strike again.
5.15 – Big Boris
5.45 – Royal Context
6.15 – Tadaany
6.45 – Dame Freya Stark
7.15 – Ideal Destiny
7.45 – Remember The Man
8.15 – Requited