No turf racing in Britain again today but there are all weather cards at Wolverhampton and Kempton as racing continues despite the introduction of the latest national lockdown on Monday evening.
There is an eight-race card at Kempton and Nortonthorpe Boy improved for the step back up to 7f when scoring on tapeta at Wolverhampton last time with Luke Morris – who keeps the ride – in the saddle for the first time. The gelding runs under a 6lbs penalty this afternoon but did finish runner up from a 1lb higher mark on turf over a mile during the summer for his previous yard.
Taking jockey claims into consideration Dubai Tigress (5.10) is actually worse off with the winner Iesha for the near 3L she was behind that rival over C&D last time, but the selection – 3s with William Hill – was denied a run at a vital time and Callum Shepherd takes over in the saddle from an apprentice today.
A check of the market is advised in the 12f Novice event for the Godolphin cast off Great Esteem who only fetched £20,000 at Doncaster Sales back in September having been off the track since finishing second at Leicester in September 2019.
Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle on Tampere (5.45) who stays two miles but gets the vote for David Simcock dropping back in distance. I would like to see the 4-y-old race more prominently than was the case under Hayley Turner who has held the gelding up in his last three starts – slowly away on one occasion – over further. The selection is 15/8 with 10bet.
The feature race is the 2m handicap and it is a cracker. Rock Eagle finished fifth in the Cesarewitch before a fluent win here in a slowly run race last time and a 2lbs rise looks fair. True Destiny is held by the top-weight on that latest run although a stronger pace would given him every chance of reversing the form with Ralph Beckett’s market leader.
Hollie Doyle’s record on Amtiyaz (6.15) reads 2211 and this son of Frankel finished third over this evening’s C&D on his first start over 2m when he got caught in a pocket under Rab Havlin before finishing well giving every indication that this trip holds no terrors. The selection is 9/4 with Boylesports.
In the finale Global Warning appreciated the drop back to 6f when scoring on tapeta at Newcastle last time on his first start for Chris Dwyer. The gelding has been raised 11lbs for that success and I just wonder if he will be as effective over this trip on polytrack. He is just 2/1 to follow up and an each way alternative is Equitation (7.15) who was not beaten far in a better race over today’s C&D last time and is dropping down to a decent mark. Richard Kingscote takes over in the saddle and, at the time of writing, his last six rides have finished 112133. The recommendation is 4s with BetVictor.
In the extended mile handicap at Wolverhampton, I hope to see Toronado Queen (2.55) race a bit more prominently than was the case when a fast-finishing second over C&D over Christmas. Richard Fahey’s mare – 5/2 with Unibet – can race off a 3lbs lower mark this afternoon and she has a good draw in stall five.