The ground at Windsor had dried out to good to firm on Sunday morning but there was the prospect of thundery showers throughout the day and on Monday ahead of this evening’s card. If the track misses the showers conditions could remain on the fast side of good – if not, we could be dealing with soft ground. Without that information it might be prudent to look elsewhere.
There is no rain forecast for Pontefract where I hope to see The Vegas Raider (2.55) land the mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-olds for Michael Bell and Callum Shepherd. The selection – 10/3 with BetVictor – looked ready for a step up in distance when fourth over 10f on polytrack last time and he was a good winner under today’s jockey at Salisbury on his seasonal debut. The grey is not bred to stay 12f, but he has given every impression that a decent test of stamina will see him in an even better light.
Aramis Grey has been in terrific form on the all-weather and there seems no reason why she should not be competitive as she returns to the turf for the first time since winning at Lingfield over 7f on good ground back in September. Marginal preference, however, is for the hat-trick seeking Al Simmo (3.55) who should get things her own way up front and is taken to repel all raiders on the run to the line. The selection – 2s with MansionBet – has little in hand of old rival Penny Pot Lane at the revised terms, but I hope to see jockey Clifford Lee get the fractions right from the front.
If there is rain in west Yorkshire that would be a big plus for the chance of Frankelio whose second at York on soft ground last time was given a huge boost when the winner – Lola Showgirl – followed up at Royal Ascot earlier in the month. Frankelio can run off the same mark today and she has some useful form on good ground including when successful from today’s mark over C&D in June 2020.
Delgrey Boy (4.30) often makes the running but seemed to appreciate being held up when going down by a neck to a well punted rival at York last time over an additional furlong. Tim Easterby’s 4-y-old finished last of 14 on his sole previous start at the track, but that was his seasonal reappearance, and he has been a model of consistency since that effort. The selection is 7/4 with William Hill.
I am surprised to see Jonjo O’Neill persevering with a left-hand track for The Composeur who jumped continually out to his right on his chase debut at Warwick last month. His three career wins have come on right-hand tracks and one can only imagine that there are not any suitable races at Ludlow, Huntingdon, or Market Rasen for this well handicapped 6-y-old.
Lygon Rock is a fascinating contender who goes well fresh but has not looked a natural to date over fences. I thought Fact Of The Matter (1.30) ran well for a long way at Cartmel last time and Gavin Sheehan returns to the saddle aboard Jamie Snowden’s 11-y-old who has also on occasions shown a tendency to jump out to his right. I hope Sheehan is not on the outside of The Composeur that is for sure. The ew recommendation is 7s with Boylesports.
At Musselburgh this evening, Kylie Rules (6.45) can reward each way support in the mile handicap although she cannot afford to be slowly away from what looks a plum draw in stall three. The mare pulled too hard in a slowly run race at Beverley last time, but she looked an unlucky loser when a close fourth in a better race at Thirsk on her penultimate start. The ew selection – 15/2 with William Hill – is 1lb lower in the weights this evening.