Weednesday’s card at Leicester was abandoned on Tuesday so we just have the one jumps card today at Hexham where conditions look sure to be extremely testing.
Asking For Answers did us a favour when scoring at Ayr from a 6lbs lower mark last time in the manner of a progressive, young handicapper. He is not yet the finished article over his obstacles, however, and my two against the field are The Dawn Man and Smuggler’s Stash (12.55) with the each way vote going to the Rose Dobbin-trained ten-year-old who is 12s at William Hill – 4 places.
It is well documented that the stable were out of sorts for long periods last term but the selection finished runner up to The Last Dawn at Wetherby back in March. Craig Nichol was in the plate on that occasion and he keeps the ride today. He is 10lbs better off with the Michael Scudamore runner today for the 5L he was behind the winner back in the spring and he is taken to reverse the form at the revised weights.
Fairfield Ferrata (1.25) made it third time lucky in Bumpers when scoring at Ayr last month and the form of her previous second to Jersey Lady was franked when the winner finished third in a listed Cheltenham contest last month. The selection – 6/4 with BetVictor – is bred to make a decent jumper and connections appear to have found a decent opportunity to make a winning start over hurdles.
Absolutely Dylan (1.55) cost the Smiths just £5,000 to stay in the stable as a result of Trevor Hemmings’ dispersal sale earlier in the year, but he bounced back to form when runner up over today’s trip at Wetherby from a 1lb lower mark. The Sue Smith yard have not set the world alight so far thus season, which tempers confidence, but he is certainly on an attractive mark and I expect to see Ryan Mania make plenty of use of his seven-year-old given he has won over three miles in the past. The selection is 5/2 with Boylesports.
In the opener at Lingfield this morning My Poem (11.45) overcame trouble in running to score at Kempton over 1m 3f three weeks ago and she is taken to follow up from a 3lbs higher mark. That was a career best performance from Sir Michael Stoute’s three-year-old, and today’s additional furlong is no concern. Cieren Fallon takes over in the saddle with Ryan Moore riding at Happy Valley Hong Kong today in a jockey’s challenge that also features Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle. The selection is 4/1 with 10bet.
Hat-trick seeking Amtiyaz is likely to be all the rage in the finale at Kempton and he is only 4lbs higher than when scoring at Wolverhampton over 1m 6f last time. He has yet to race at this evening’s 2m trip, however, and I just prefer the lightly raced Imperium (7.25) who has won two of his last three starts including when winning over tonight’s C&D from a 6lbs lower mark. Interestingly both Amtiyas – 11/10 with William Hill – and Imperium are sons of Frankel.