The form of the Laura Jane Morgan yard is a slight concern for the prospects of Rafferty who did us a favour when making all at Market Rasen from a 10lbs lower mark last month. Sean Bowen – who rode the former pointer in Lincolnshire – has one ride at Lingfield and Adam Wedge – usually the yard’s go-to jockey – takes over in the saddle at Huntingdon.
He must have every chance of following up, but he is 10lbs worse off with Begoodtoyourself (1.00) for just over 8L that the each way selection was behind at Market Rasen. The gelding remains a maiden under rules, but he did win between the flags and must be a threat from the foot of the weights. The 11/2 with Boylesports is about right.
There is a terrific 2m handicap hurdle and Sage Advice is weighted to reverse last season’s juvenile hurdle form at Warwick with Cabot Cliffs on the revised terms. He must go close with the Dr Richard Newland yard ending their frustrating run with a couple of winners over the weekend. The each way recommendation, however, is Ajero (1.30) who looked all at sea on the soft ground at Ascot on his reappearance and he has been dropped a couple of pounds as a result.
The selection – 5s with Boylesports – was a fluent scorer over today’s C&D back in March and is only 1lb higher in the handicap. Good ground and a flat right-handed track clearly suit Kim Bailey’s 6-year-old. It may just be a coincidence, but the yard saddled four fancied horses at Ascot and three failed to give their running and were pulled up. The stable has already had a couple of winners this month, however, and the 6/1 with William Hill looks attractive.
At Lingfield I am looking forward to the hurdles/British debut of Hara Kiri (1.07) who has left the stable of Willie Mullins since finishing second in a Bumper at the Punchestown Festival back in the spring. The winner scored on the flat in the summer and followed up on his hurdles debut at Cork last month. He wore a hood on his last start in Ireland and the headgear is retained this afternoon on his first start for Alex Hales. The novice is Evens with William Hill.
Do note a market move for Emma Lavelle’s Thunder Surf. He ran a better race than his finishing position would suggest on his sole Bumper start back in the spring.
Megan Nicholls must have asked her dad to give her partner Kevin Stott the ride on Siroco Jo in the handicap hurdle for flat jockeys. The market leader goes unpenalized for winning a moderate conditional jockey’s event at Newbury last week and Nicholls said in an interview with the Racing Post on Monday that he fully expected his charge to win as he did. Both his career wins have been on good ground, but he did run well on soft when second in his native France on debut.
He is likely to be very short in the betting, however, and preference is for the Gary Moore trained Albert Van Ornum (3.07) who failed to stay over an additional half mile at Fontwell on his reappearance and will appreciate the return to the minimum trip. He makes his handicap debut off what looks an attractive mark. The 5s with Boylesports looks a fair each way alternative to the market leader.
There is a terrific Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse, and Minella Escape is sure to have his supporters even though he fell on two of his four starts over hurdles. A point winner he represents the powerful combination of Henry De Bromhead and Rachel Blackmore who were in such brilliant form over the weekend.
Gavin Cromwell saddled My Mate Mozzie to land the For Auction Hurdle on Sunday although I was a bit dismayed to see his jump right-handed at Navan. I thought his Gabynako (12.45) looked a sure-fire future chase winner when just touched off at Galway on debut and he can go one better with that run and experience under his belt. The selection is 9/4 from 5/2 with MansionBet.