Fast ground the order of the day at Ayr for this evening’s seven-race card and in the concluding near two-mile handicap there will be many prepared to give Let Me Be a chance to put behind a poor effort at York last time. That was his fourth quick run, however, and he must race from a 5lbs higher mark this evening. He may need longer than three weeks to bounce back to his best.
Socially Shady has dropped to a mark 3lbs below when scoring at Pontefract on fast ground last summer over 12f and this is the first time he has encountered his optimum underfoot conditions this term. He is not guaranteed to get home over today’s trip, however, and marginal preference is for Justified (8.15) who did not get the clearest of runs at Ripon last time when he was beaten less than a couple of lengths. He has been dropped a pound for that effort and he gets the vote for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning. The selection is 9/4 with BetVictor.
At Wolverhampton I hope to see Envega (4.40) improve for the step up to 12f for the first time having looked in need of a step up in distance when third at Nottingham over 10f on her reappearance. She ran well over an extended mile here as a juvenile, so we know the surface holds no terrors and the Ralph Beckett yard remain in good form. The 9/4 with MansionBet looks fair.
There are mixed messages in the pedigree of Live Your Dream (5.10) as to whether he will appreciate two miles – plenty of stamina on the dam’s side – but he, too, looked ready for a step up in distance when second at York last time over 12f. It has been a quiet season to date for Saeed bin Suroor who is very much Godolphin second string in the training ranks at present although, at the time of writing, he has won with two of his last three runners. The selection is Evens with William Hill.
In the opening 3m handicap chase at Southwell Mahlermade (1.25) ran well for a long time at Haydock last time before stopping quickly and he has had wind surgery since that effort two months ago. He is dangerously well treated on his best form, will love the ground, and ran a cracking race when runner up from a 20lb higher mark on his sole previous start at today’s track. At a double figure price, he gets the each way vote at 11/1 with 10Bet.
Tardree did us a favour at Uttoxeter last week but do note he is 12lbs higher in the weights, got low at one or two of his fences and got very warm beforehand. He could still be ahead of the handicapper, but I feel this is a better race and he is overlooked.
It is over three weeks and 20 runners since Evan Williams last saddled a winner and in the 2m handicap hurdle his Ballinsker has been disappointing in recent starts. He has dropped to a decent mark, however, and he could easily bounce back. There is plenty of pace in the race and I feel that will suit Timberman (4.20) who has won two of his last three starts for Fergal O’Brien. He wore a hood at Market Rasen last time, and the headgear is applied again this afternoon. The 5/2 with MansionBet looks fair.