Four flat and one jumps’ card across Britain and Ireland today and we begin at Yarmouth where Enable’s half-sister Portrush (12.00) has her second start having shaped with considerable promise when runner up at Newbury on debut. Connections will be keen to get a win next to her name as they will with Tanita who makes her turf debut and seasonal reappearance for Sir Michael Stoute.
Both Tanita – 15/8 with William Hill – and Portrush – 10/11 at Boylesports – are daughters of Frankel and Tanita finished in the money in two good all-weather maidens over 7f and a mile back in August. Both beautifully bred fillies run in the Frankel/Enable silks of Prince Khalid Abdullah.
I must give Rocket Rod (12.35) another chance at this 10f trip even though he has not been a particularly strong stayer at the distance in both starts to date. The form of his second at Windsor behind Nova Roma took a knock when the winner disappointed on ground softer than ideal at Newbury last time, but I think James Doyle – who takes over from Jason Watson – will ride the selection less prominently than was the case by the banks of the Thames last month. The ew selection is 11/2 with bet365.
The Gosden colt Nasraawy was backed into 7/4 from 9/4 on Tuesday evening and must have a leading chance in this Maiden handicap but I feel the Hugo Palmer colt has more potential – although his stamina is a concern.
At Catterick I like the booking of Ben Curtis for Vitare (3.25) who finished runner up at Windsor over 6f last time. Mick Channon’s three-year-old – 15/8 with Boylesorts – will not have many better opportunities in what looks a moderate northern maiden and he is well drawn in stall five.
The Dancing Poet (3.50) ran well behind a progressive sort of Ralph Beckett at Haydock last time and the hope is that Sea Art goes a good clip in the mile-and-a-half-handicap. The selection won a novice hurdle here back in January, so the track’s undulations hold no terrors, and a 1lb rise for his Haydock run is fair. Trainer Brian Ellison, at the time of writing, has saddled three winners from his last seven runners so fair to say he has his string in excellent nick. The 3/1 has gone and the selection is 5/2 with Boylesports.
The form of Golden Pine’s second at Leicester on debut was given a boost when the winner – Wise Glory – won a Newmarket handicap from a mark of 79 at the weekend. The son of Golden Horn was quite strong in the market on debut – went off 9/4 – and he gave the impression he will appreciate this evening’s step up in trip. He has an excellent draw in stall four and William Buick takes over in the saddle for Sir Michael Stoute. He should soon be winning but Almighwar (7.15) was an impressive winner over C&D last time and is taken to give 7lbs to Golden Pine.
The selection was drawn out widest of all in stall 12 last time but was always travelling best and landed a gamble in coming home 4L clear of his field. The runner up has since been well beaten which lets down the form, but the John Gosden trained colt looked smart here last time and is taken to follow up.