Fast ground again forecast for Haydock this evening and in the 6f novice event King Of Gold (7.00) is taken to reverse York form with I’m A Gambler when the pair were making their racecourse debuts. The selection – 6/4 with Boylesports – was slowly away on the Knavesmire and travelled like the best horse in the race.
I’m A Gambler occupied the same runner up position at Chester next time when he bumped into Hannon’s Al Shabli who I feel is potentially very smart, but I would be disappointed if King Of Gold did not gain revenge with that initial experience under his belt.
Kevin Stott gets a rare ride for Shadwell/Sir Michael Stoute aboard Thibaan (7.30) who has been raised 5lbs for finishing second to a promising sort of Roger Varian – Tinker Toy – at Newcastle on his first start over a mile since his racecourse debut. I had been banging on about dropping the 4-y-old back to a mile for a long time now and felt he bumped into one on tapeta last time. Poet’s Dawn should ensure a decent gallop and a bigger danger might come from Ed Bethell’s Idoapologise who runs from the same mark as when beaten a short head in third at Ayr last week. The selection is 9/4 with 10Bet.
I must give Wink Of An Eye (8.30) another chance to fulfil the promise he showed at Goodwood on his reappearance when he showed improved form stepped up to 10f for the first time on fast ground. He disappointed on heavy ground at Haydock last time, but I feel you can put a line through the run. The selection is by Dubawi out of a 10f listed winner and I would be surprised if trainer William Haggas were not able to get a couple of wins out of the gelding who runs in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen. The selection is 10/11 with BetVictor.
Three of the five runners in the concluding 7f handicap are last time out winners including Il Bandito (9.00) who did us a favour when scoring over C&D from a 4lbs lower mark last time for Charlie Hills. That success was gained on good to soft ground, but the hope is that the 3-y-old will cope with this evening’s forecast faster ground. The selection is 6/5 with William Hill.
Sir Mark Todd has had a quiet spell saddling few runners in recent weeks, but I am looking forward to seeing his Souyounique (3.20) return to sprinting in the first division of the 6f handicap at Nottingham. The selection – 4s with MansionBet – has his first start over 6f on turf but travels as if he will be well suited by a drop back on distance on a straight track. He has the size to cope with the steadier of 10st and is a fascinating recruit to the sprinting ranks.
At Uttoxeter I hope to see Dog Of War (3.40) return to winning ways stepped up to three miles for the first time over fences. The selection – 2s with BetVictor – lost his unbeaten chase record when runner up at Warwick last time over 2m 4f from a 1lb lower mark last month giving the impression he was ready for an additional half a mile. The mare Stop Talking is 4lbs higher than when winning by a nose on soft ground also at Warwick. She is at least as effective on good ground, but I favour the prospects of the younger Dan Skelton-trained runner.