The ground was described as good to soft at Bath on Sunday morning with the BBC website suggesting there was the prospect of showers for the area ahead of and during today’s nine-race card. That said as I found out to my cost regarding York on Saturday, weather forecasting remains an inexact science!
It has been a relatively quiet campaign for Hugo Palmer, but he did have a winner at Chepstow over the weekend and he fits Hlaiton (5.15) with first time cheek-pieces in the mile handicap. William Buick takes over on the gelding who was beaten less than 2L at Newbury last time when he met interference inside the final furlong but finished off his race well. He has been raised 1lb for that effort but must have a leading chance if the headgear can bring about a modicum of improvement. The early 5/1 with bet365 was too big and he is a best priced 2/1 at the time of posting with the same firm.
The most interesting race on the card is the extended 10f maiden and I am sweet on the chances of Crystal Pegasus (6.50) whose second to Brilliant Light at Wolverhampton last time was given a boost when the winner did us a favour at Sandown at the weekend. That run was over an additional quarter of a mile and it is possible that William Buick will have to make his own running with no guaranteed pace in the race. Moomba was all the rage in the early exchanges but Crystal Pegasus was well supported overnight and is a best priced 11/10 having been as big as 11/8 with William Hill.
At Southwell Lake Baikal is likely to be a short price to follow up his fluent Perth success from just a 4lbs higher mark, but it is worth noting that all six of his career starts have been on right-handed tracks. He could easily be well ahead of the handicapper, but I think Court Jurado (1.45) can confirm recent Stratford running with Simon The Great on 1lb worse terms.
Court Jurado had only run 2 days earlier over today’s C&D and may not have been at his best last time although it is worth noting that Simon The Great was not knocked about in third and was subject to an enquiry into his running and riding. The McCain runner was put in at 5/1 on Sunday evening but that was quickly snpped up and, at the time of posting, he is 3/1 with William Hill.
Lough Har (2.20) has been raised a couple of pounds for finishing a short head second at Market Rasen last time but the winner – Arthur’s Sixpence – has since followed up at Fontwell and I hope to see Fergal O’Brien’s top-weight go one better with the slight drop back in trip considered a plus. His excellent handler dispenses with the tongue-tie he wore last time but fits his 6-y-old with cheek-pieces for the first time this afternoon. The 13/8 with bet365 didn’t last long and he is Evens with Boylesports.
At Ballinrobe this afternoon I hope to see Mick Charlie (3.30) go one better than when runner up – beaten just over a length – at Killarney on Saturday when he had the third 7L further back. If in the same mood he will be extremely hard to beat for Declan Queally. The selection is a best priced 9/4.