Chepstow’s meeting for today was abandoned yesterday due to waterlogging and it would be wrong to suggest this was anything other than a moderate days racing. There was significant rain due at Lingfield on Tuesday and I feel it is best to assume the going will be on the soft side of good at the very best given the forecast for today’s turf card.
Michael Appleton has yet to find the key to Double Reflection (3.55) but the mare has dropped to an attractive mark and the booking of Cieren Fallon catches the eye. The selection – 20s with Boyleports who are betting 4 places – has not seen the track since beating just one home at Wolverhampton six months ago but, while she has no history of going well fresh, she was better than this grade at her best and her shrewd handler looks sure to revitalise her sooner rather than later.
I must admit to being surprised to see John Locke (4.30) step up in trip for his third start having looked to have been outstayed on the all-weather here over 10f last time. I think it is fair to say that if Harry Bentley had his time again he would not have followed such a strong gallop, but he did have the third over 8L back and the John Gosden trained winner – Faisal – is a colt of some potential. It is such a moderate contest that te opening Evens with bet365 looked b g and the recommendation is now a best priced 4/5.
Nearly Famous (5.00) was a winner on the flat and over timber for Jessica Harrington and is taken to break her duck in Britain for Grace Harris with Hollie Doyle – who was in the saddle for her penultimate start – back in the plate. Any significant further rain would be a plus and 11/2 ew with Boylesports is a fair price.
In the first division of the median auction maiden Hugo Palmer introduces Lovely Breeze who is the half-sister to Powerful Breeze. The latter was my three-year-old filly to follow this summer but has yet to see the track following a mishap in the spring although she does hold an entry in the Gp 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last month.
The market will provide valuable clues as to stable expectations although the booking of Andrea Atzeni – not a regular rider for the yard – is considered a positive.
There was also plenty of rain forecast for Musselburgh on Tuesday and Iain Jardine can land the opener courtesy of his once-raced Bulls Aye (1.00) who ran a promising race on debut over 6f. Today’s additional furlong should suit on breeding and the blinkers he wore when fourth on debut at Ayr are persevered with. The selection was backed from 5/2 to 2s with William Hill on Tuesday.
Bibbidibobbidiboo (2.00) has not won for over two years but she ran her best race for some time when second at Catterick last time when forced to cover ground from her moderate draw. The mare – 11/4 from 4s with bet365 on Tuesday evening – has won over today’s C&D in the past, has a better draw in stall five today and trainer Ann Duffield has fitted her 5-y-old with first-time cheek-pieces today.
The handicapper has dropped former Ebor winner Nakeeta (4.35) down to a mark of 70 despite running a good race in a decent Ripon handicap – winner has followed up from a 3lbs higher mark – when going down by just a couple of lengths. This step up to 2m will suit – the 9-y-old was once runner up in the Chester Cup over 2m 2f – and he can show he is no back number even approaching his tenth birthday. The opening 8s with William Hill was wrong but the 4s with Boylesports remains a fair price.