Good ground forecast at Leicester this afternoon and the classic generation have won the last five renewals of the mile handicap. There is only one three-year-old in the field today likely market leader Marsabit, but I favour the 4-y-old Mars Landing (2.23).
The selection – 7/4 with Boylesports – has not been seen since scoring over today’s C&D from a 3lbs lower mark back in April. Pat Dobbs was in the plate on that occasion, and he keeps the ride on a gelding who can go well fresh and has bits of form from his three-year-old days which suggest he could still be well treated.
His second to Makram at Ascot back in July reads very well in this company although there is the possibility he will get slightly further than a mile later in the campaign.
The second division of the 10f Novice Stakes is a belter and Ocean Wave is likely to be a warm order to go one better than was the case at Thirsk on debut when she stayed on nicely into second over a mile. This step up in trip will suit and she is a big danger to Mahrajaan (3.23) who gets the vote for William Haggas. Note Ocean Wave has been declared a Non Runner on Thursday morning.
The selection – 10/11 with BetVictor – was gelded prior to his racecourse debut when he finished third at Newmarket to Peter The Great on ground which may have been softer than ideal. The winner ran a terrific race in a valuable handicap back on the July course last week and I would expect the selection to improve with that experience under his belt.
The ground is likely to be drying out all the time at Epsom this evening where I hope to see Amalfi Bay (7.20) follow up last week’s fluent C&D success for Roger Charlton.
The selection – 2s with MansionBet – must carry a 6lbs penalty for that win but has been raised 8lbs by the handicapper from the weekend – hence is 2lbs “well-in.” Note he was pulled out of a race earlier in the month when the good to firm ground was considered unsuitable – he would not want conditions to dry out too much.
The main danger looks to be another unexposed 3-y-old Our New Buddy who was backed as if defeat was out of the question when a beaten favourite – 7th of 11 – at Haydock last month. She is bred to be smart and she steps up to 12f for the first time tonight. It will be interesting to see if her supporters try and recoup their losses.
In the opening Mares Novices’ Handicap Chase at Worcester, I am looking forward to the chase debut of Makety (5.15) who won her sole point and made a pleasing reappearance at Southwell on his first start since re-joining the stable of Oliver Sherwood. The mare – 9/2 with BetVictor – has the scope to jump a fence and looked ready for an additional half a mile when a staying on third over hurdles at the minimum distance last time.
Your Band (6.20) lost valuable momentum when making a mistake over C&D last time when well supported, but I thought that was a decent race and he can make amends tonight with Nick Schofield taking over in the saddle from his regular conditional jockey.
The each way selection – 7/2 from 9/2 with Boylesports – is the youngest in the race and will stay further than this 2m 4f trip, but I hope they go a good gallop which would suit Alistair Ralph’s six-year-old.