Good ground at Newmarket and no rain forecast ahead of today’s eight-race card which features no fewer than seven juvenile races.
There is a fascinating Novice Stakes over 7f with many of the top yards involved. Mindset made all but hung out to his left at Beverley last time and, in the circumstances, did very well to score by a head. He will do well to follow up under a 6lbs penalty but remains of interest going forward.
This looks a match between Regal Honour and GREEK ORDER who both shaped with considerable promise on debut with preference for the latter although the form of the Charlton yard is a slight concern.
Dubawi colt Regal Honour was slowly away and shifted left over C&D on debut but finished his race off very well and is likely to be a different proposition from the lids with that experience under his belt. He cost 625,000gns as a yearling and is a half-brother to five winners including at Group 1 level.
Greek Order was sent off 6/4 market leader on debut at Salisbury, was slowly away, pulled hard but travelled well before his run petered out inside the final furlong. The selection is held in high regard at Beckhampton and this beautifully bred son of Kingman, who will get further next term, gets the vote in a cracking Novice.
Recommendation: Greek Order at 6/4 with Bet365
DREAM OF MISCHIEF improved for the application of cheekpieces at Lingfield last time and can defy a 6lbs rise in the weights, arguably 9lbs given Rhys Clutterbuck claimed 3lbs last time. The selection has the beating of market leader Menalippe on a line through Classic Order who was behind the selection last time but had thrashed at Kempton on his penultimate start.
The each way recommendation will get at least a mile next term but is from a family the yard know well and he is bred to be at least as effective back on turf. The stable’s inmates have been running very well of late and the hope is that he gets a good gallop to chase.
Recommendation: Dream Of Mischief EW at 6/1 with William Hill
There is a terrific card at Worcester and the problem with the 3m Novices’ Handicap Chase is that I have earmarked both Fergal O’Brien chasing newcomers Autonomous Cloud and Manofthepeople as horses I want to be with this term. When you add Emma Lavelle’s Sam Barton to the mix it comes into the category of best watched but, I am convinced, it is a race that will throw up winners as the winter progresses.
The feature race is the valuable Richard Wright Memorial Handicap Chase over the minimum trip. Five of the eight runners won first time out and this is likely to be a more competitive heat than some of the races we will witness at Cheltenham this weekend unless the rain arrives.
There is plenty of pace in the race, but I hope to see Tom Cannon take a lead aboard ONLY MONEY who only won a four-runner race at Plumpton last time but jumped and travelled very well and a 3lbs rise is more than fair. He is closely matched with Doukarov on Newbury running back in December, but he has race fitness on his side and has improved since that defeat.
Not Available is beginning to look very well treated but he has been badly out of form since the turn of the year and showed little when returning from a break over C&D last month. A check of the market is advised.
Recommendation: Only Money at 10/3 with William Hill
Harry Fry has his string in good shape – he has four good chances today – and FAIRY GEM can make a winning hurdles debut despite the fact that she will get further than two miles in time. The mare won a Plumpton Bumper on debut before finishing placed in two listed contests although beaten more than 20L on desperate ground at Sandown back in March.
Letterston Lady finished last term with a couple of Bumper wins, but the Peter Bowen yard are going through a lean patch by their standards at present, and a bigger danger is likely to come from Billams Legacy who has valuable hurdling experience and ended last term finishing second at Catterick to a decent sort of Tim Easterby.
Recommendation: Fairy Gem at 5/2 with 10Bet
Mount Athos heads the market for the 7f handicap at Kempton this evening and this lightly-raced Dark Angel colt could be very well treated for his polytrack/handicap debut. James Doyle takes over in the saddle on a colt who beat Andrew Balding’s Conflict by 5L at Thirsk when last seen in June. Note the runner up has subsequently won his last couple and is now rated 84. With that in mind Mount Athos could be thrown in from the same mark although he has a four-month absence to overcome.
COUNSEL has left the Gosdens since finishing third at Newmarket over six furlongs a couple of months ago having cost £35,000 at Tatts horses-in-training sales in August. He has his first start for Ian Williams this evening and is defending an unbeaten record on the surface having scored at Lingfield over 7f back in July.
Cieren Fallon has been in the plate for half of the gelded son of Frankel’s eight career starts, he is well drawn in stall three and he represents a very shred and competent handler.
Recommendation: Counsel each way at 16/1 with SkyBet 4 places