Good ground forecast at Carlisle and there is a competitive novices’ handicap chase which will see Gold Des Bois go off a short-price favourite for Iain Jardine.
The market leader finished runner up at Kelso on his first start for the yard in a valuable handicap ten days ago when he raced from 8lbs out of the handicap. He can race from his old mark this afternoon and he has bits of form for Gordon Elliot which make him look well treated and he can confirm Ballinrobe form with top-weight Avrico Bleu from back in the spring. The latter has his first start for Ewan Whillans having cost connections £9,000 out of Henry de Bromhead’s stable last month at Doncaster sales.
The vote, however, goes to Slanelough (1.55) who won his last couple in the spring for Rose Dobbin and is taken to land the hat-trick even though Conor O’Farrell, who was in the plate for those successes, rides the favourite with Craig Nicol taking over on the recommendation. The yard had a double at Kelso last week and I think this 9-y-old will be tough to pass. The 4/1 available on Thursday morning looks fair.
Sword Of Fate (4.50) has been on the go all year and this will be his 18th run of the year, but he has been running very well on decent ground of late and is taken to follow up last month’s fluent Perth success from a 6lbs higher mark. The selection – 13/8 with Boylesports – was rated 20lbs higher when trained by Tom Lacey and a stiff two miles on good ground is ideal. Grand National winning jockey Derek Fox has been in the saddle for the selection’s hat-trick of wins in 2021 and he keeps the ride today.
Fast ground at Wincanton and in the conditional jockey’s chase Jony Max (4.05) is taken to go one better than when second at Warwick last time from a 3lbs lower mark. This winning pointer – 11/4 with William Hill – looked likely to finish fourth when missing out the third last, but he got back into the race going to the last and just missed out to a well treated Jonjo O’Neill horse who had won his previous start. That trip was over 2m 5f and the step up to this extended 3m 1f should suit.
The battle for the flat jockey’s title decamps to Chelmsford and in the 7f handicap I hope to see Discover Dubai (7.00) bounce back from a poor run over C&D when he stumbled at the start and was rushed up to lead from his wide draw out in stall thirteen. The selection – 9/2 with 10Bet – had failed to get home on tapeta over a mile on his penultimate start and Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle for the first time tonight. His draw in stall three is a positive and he gets the each way vote.