Fast ground and small fields are the order of the day across Britain this weekend but there are much needed heavy showers – some thundery – forecast for early next week.
Clive Cox has won the last two renewals of the valuable 7f handicap, and he saddles Dance Fever this afternoon who must have a leading chance of landing the hat-trick for the yard.
The gelding has dropped 6lbs since the start of the year and ran very well in third in a hot Goodwood handicap last month when he had to switch inside at a vital stage. The manoeuvre was not the difference between gold and bronze, but he would have gone close with an untroubled passage.
Fivethousandtoone has to prove himself over 7f, but he wasn’t stopping when a short head second of three in a tactical affair at Salisbury last time. He has always threatened to win a decent race for King Power, but the vote goes to the three-year-old GISBURN who has a course record at the Berkshire track of 4-1-1 with the first run over the minimum trip on debut and the two successes over 6f.
The Richard Hannon trained colt tried today’s trip for the first time when runner up at Glorious Goodwood. Now with his stamina guaranteed and good record at the track, I would expect Sean Levey to have the selection more prominent than last time when he was held up last. Indeed, he made all to win here as a juvenile and he has been left on the same mark as for his last run.
The classic generation have won the last couple of renewals of the race, and I hope to see him track Able Kane who is likely to press forward under Ross Coakley.
Recommendation: Gisburn 3/1 with 10Bet
The BetVictor sponsored 2 Hungerford Stakes is the feature and it is a fiercely competitive renewal of this seven-furlong Group 2 contest.
Tiber Flow heads the market and will appreciate the step up in distance for William Haggas having been taken off his feet in the Commonwealth Cup last time. The 6-year-old entire Pogo has been a revelation from the front this summer and he is likely to give another bold show from the front.
When the declarations came out on Thursday, I backed both Dubai Poet at 12/1 and PRIMO BACIO at 25/1 and the latter gets the each way vote for Ed Walker. The each way recommendation ran OK at Goodwood last time, but I’m convinced she is better on a flat track, and she should have the race run to suit with Pogo and Chindit likely to go forward from the stalls.
The filly looked a potential star when she won a listed race at York last spring, and I don’t think her trainer believes he has placed her as well as he could. At the time of writing – on Thursday evening – there was still 25/1 available and that could be a tad overpriced although I appreciate it is a very deep race.
Recommendation: Primo Bacio EW at 25/1 with Boylesports
Frankie Dettori take over in the saddle on Hannon’s Mums Tipple who drops back to sprinting for the first time in almost 12 months. The gelding has run well over an additional furlong in his last couple of starts and is now 17lbs lower in the weights than was the case this time last year.
STONE OF DESTINY would have won at Goodwood in the consolation Stewards’ Cup last time had he not been constantly denied a run from two furlongs out. He hasn’t won since landing the Portland at Doncaster’s Leger meeting in 2020 but that was from an 8lbs higher mark and that five-and-a-0half furlong handicap is again likely to be on the agenda next month.
The selection hasn’t won on turf over 6f, but has won on the all-weather over the distance, he represents the inform yard of Andrew Balding and has, somehow, been dropped 2lbs since Goodwood. The head waiter Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle and his style should suit the 6-y-old.
Recommendation: Stone Of Destiny at 4/1 with William Hill
There is a cracking card at Perth as jump racing recommences after its midsummer mini break.
Laura Morgan has a number of excellent chances at the meeting including Socialist Agenda in the valuable two-mile handicap hurdle. He finished last in the Scottish Champion Hurdle when last seen in the spring and his previous win in the Scottish Champion Hurdle is very good form. He is just 6lbs higher this afternoon and must run a big race with Brian Hughes taking over in the saddle for the first time.
There are no prices available at the time of writing, but I hope GALATA BRIDGE is a double figure price for Dr Richard Newland and Sam Twiston-Davies. The ew recommendation races from the same mark as when a close fourth in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen last time and can reverse placings with the third Wolf Prince on 2lbs better terms.
That was Wolf Prince’s first start for the Fergal O’Brien stable and he is likely to ensure a decent gallop given he does get further than the minimum trip.
Recommendation: Galata Bridge EW at 4/1 with William Hill
6.48 Market Rasen
TRAIN HILL was backed from 14s into 9/2 at Worcester over hurdles last time but faded from two out although he was only beaten five lengths.
The ew recommendation finished runner up over C&D from a 4lbs higher mark last August but has not run over the larger obstacles since that narrow defeat when he would have gone very close but for a stumble on landing two out. The winner was the ill-fated Brother Pat who was nearly 30lbs higher in the weights when he suffered his fatal injury back in the spring.
The late summer/early autumn is the time to catch the Charlie Longsdon – trained horses and I hope Train Hill can win his first race over jumps and add to his Bumper success at Limerick on debut when trained by Henry De Bromhead.
Recommendation: Train Hill EW at 9/2 with 10Bet