The ground is likely to be on the fast side of good for today’s seven-race card at Nottingham and in the 1m 6f three-year-old handicap Norman Kindu will find underfoot conditions more to his liking than was the case at Wetherby last time when he failed to cope with the heavy ground.
The vote, however, goes to Mark Johnston’s Fandabidozi (1.30) who drops back in trip on his turf debut having set too strong a pace over two miles at Chelmsford on his reappearance. Joe Fanning takes over in the saddle for the first time and I hope he can get the fractions right from the front. Top-weight Oceanline looks the biggest threat to the selection who is 3s with 10Bet.
Volcano Bay is likely to make a bold bid from the front in the extended 10f handicap with talented apprentice Ray Dawson taking off a valuable 3lbs. She failed to cope with the soft ground at Lingfield last time but there are no problems on that score this afternoon.
Flower Of Thunder (4.10) remains a maiden after eight starts but her second at Yarmouth on her penultimate start is decent form for the grade. I believe you can put a line through her last effort which was run on ground softer than ideal. Kieran O’Neill, who was in the saddle at Yarmouth, returns to the saddle on the ew selection who is 16s at MansionBet.
In the last at Ayr, I hope to see Harvest Day (4.25) follow up her recent facile Musselburgh success under a 5lbs penalty with apprentice Joanna Mason taking off 3lbs. That win was gained on soft ground, but she has winning form on a faster surface and all six of her career wins have come over today’s 7f trip. The 7/4 with BetVictor looks about right.
At Kempton this evening, I hope to see Zaajirah (7.50) put behind a disappointing run in the Fred Darling at Newbury as she reverts to the scene of her impressive debut success back in October. The filly – 5/2 with William Hill – has a good draw in stall one and I hope to see Jim Crowley get a good pitch before striking fast and late. Her course success was gained over 7f, but she is bred to appreciate the step up to a mile this evening.
The excellent Fergal O’Brien switches his useful hurdler Teqany (8.50) back to the flat in the concluding two-mile handicap and the greys looks potentially well treated off a mark of 65. The selection – 7/2 with Boylesports – has not been seen on the level since finishing fourth at the Curragh when trained in Ireland, but he is now rated 148 over timber and did run some decent races in defeat on the all-weather at Dundalk for Ger Lyons.