No fairy-tale return to the saddle for Rachel Blackmore at Galway on Saturday although she did have another ride at Wexford on Sunday. Whatever the outcome of Upping The Anti I hope to see her ride a winner courtesy of Eklat De Rire (3.30) in the listed chase over three miles.
The selection – 5/6 with Boylesports – was last seen coming down just after halfway in the Grade 1 Brown Advisory Chase at the Cheltenham Festival but had won his previous couple for Henry de Bromhead on heavy ground including in Grade 3 company when he made all to beat Escaria Ten at Naas. The selection has a good record fresh, clearly enjoys soft ground although he will not have things all his won way given, he must give 12lbs to old adversary The Big Dog who is the mount of Jamie Codd.
At the time of writing there are no prices available on the mile handicap at Redcar, but I presume the market will be dominated by the three-year-olds Empirestateofmind and Mujtaba. The former has won three of his last four while the latter is unbeaten in two starts for William Haggas and is bred to be smart by Dubawi out of a dual Group 1 winning mare.
The each way vote, however, goes to the mare Last Look (2.05) who improved for the application of cheekpieces when third at York over 10f on her first start in over 200 days when she hinted that a drop back to a straight mile might suit. She disappointed on fast ground at Meydan earlier in the year, but connections must have felt that she was worth persevering with. * The mare is 7/2 with 10Bet.
The unbeaten The Player Queen (1.20) has her first start for Rose Dobbin in the opening mares’ novices’ hurdle at Ayr having won a point and Bumper at Cheltenham for her previous connections. The mare cost £140,000 at Doncaster Sales back in the spring and it may not have been the strongest ever race at the track at Cheltenham, but she is an exciting recruit and 2m 4f on good ground looks an ideal starting point.
Sauce Of Life (1.55) gave 7lbs and a beating to Olly Murphy’s promising Tigerbythetail when landing his second Bumper at Market Rasen in April having made a winning debut at Musselburgh in December. At the time of writing trainer Nicky Richards has saddled three winners from his last six runners and I expect this 6-y-old to maintain his unbeaten record. The selection is 5/6 with MansionBet.
Dorking Boy is well handicapped on his hurdle form over fences, but I thought Animore (2.30) won with a bit in hand at Hexham last time and he is taken to follow up especially if the track gets some of the showers forecast to hit the area.
The mare – 15/8 from 5/2 with MansionBet – has been hit with a 5lbs rise for making all last time, but that was only fourth start over the larger obstacles and her jumping was fast and fluent in the north-east. There looks every chance she will again get her own way up front, and she can fend off the challengers in the long home straight.