The ground was described as good to firm at Carlisle on Tuesday morning for the feature meeting of the whole year at the Cumbria track. There is the prospect of light drizzle throughout the day.
Michael Dods has his string in excellent form, and I hope to see him have his second juvenile winner of the campaign courtesy of Circoloco (1.45) who made a promising debut at York when runner up to Jadhlaan of Mark Johnston who was having his third start and is now rated 89. The filly – Evens with Boylesports – is likely to get another furlong in time but today’s stiff track ought to suit and she gets a confident vote.
In the Consolation race for the Bell Makeen is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Thirsk last time on his first start for Julie Camacho. The runner up has subsequently disappointed but the third ran a cracker at York last time and Makeen looks sure to run a big race.
The each way vote, however, goes to Jackhammer (2.55) who has finished runner up in his last couple of starts and was given far too much to do at Hamilton last time. He will need a fast pace to track and luck in running from stall one, but he won this corresponding race two years ago and has an excellent record at the track. The selection is 7/2 with MansionBet.
The Bell is a cracking renewal of this famous old handicap and Keith Dalgleish fits his Chichester (3.30) with first time cheekpieces as he drops down to a mile for the first time since he ran away with a Newcastle handicap on his first start for the yard.
The each way recommendation – 9/2 with William Hill 5 places – is not housed particularly well in stall 12 but a truly run mile should bring about the best in the 4-y-old although there are any numbers of dangers including the progressive Billhilly and Howzer Black who I hope will ensure a true gallop although he is unlikely to get things all his own way up front with Fred another confirmed front runner.
The unbeaten Cloudy Dawn heads north in search of black type in the 7f listed fillies contest for William Haggas who saddled the winner of the corresponding race two years ago. Irish handler Ken Conden landed the prize in 2017 and Thunder Beauty (4.40) looked ready for a step back up in trip when a never nearer sixth in a Curragh Group 3 last time having been outclassed in the 1000 Guineas – showed good speed for six furlongs – on her reappearance. The selection – 5/2 with Boylesports – has only got a Curragh maiden win to her name, but this represents a drop in class and she can end the 100% record of the market leader.
There is a terrific handicap chase at Worcester and Dogon (2.00) returns from a near 12-month absence for Paul Nicholls. The 6-y-old has no history of going well fresh, but I was taken with his win at Southwell back in July in first-time cheekpieces and I feel he can run up a sequence this summer. Good ground suits the selection – 7/2 with BetVictor – and conditions should be perfect. If he had a better record fresh, I believe he would be something to bet on despite it being a competitive contest with veteran Baby King one of several dangers.
Edinburgh Castle (3.45) is taken to make it third time lucky over timber in the 2m Maiden Hurdle having finished third in both starts over obstacles to date including at Uttoxeter last time when he didn’t get the best of runs. The selection – 13/8 with 10Bet – was a 70+ rated performer on the level for Andrew Balding and goes in all ground. I hope to see Jonjo O’Neill ride the selection up in the van as there is plenty of deadwood in the 15-runner field.
Pagero (4.20) found little having travelled like much the best horse when third at Ludlow returning from a 200-day absence over the minimum trip last time. Today’s additional half a mile promises to suit, and he has been dropped a pound for that effort. The 5s with BetVictor looks a fair each way price.