We start our usual Friday slot with an apprentice handicap over one mile. Aye Aye Skipper and Skerray Rules both head the market in an open betting heat. The former has been running well in recent weeks but appears to have very little in hand with his current mark. He won at the Curragh earlier in the year off 52 and while has been hitting the crossbar off his current mark looks held, also his participation would be questionable having ran at Navan on Wednesday. Skerray Rules is the one I would fear most here. This three year old had shown very little in maidens before winning fairly readily two weeks ago with the benefit of blinkers first time. How trust worthy that form is, is questionable but Mick Halfords comments after race seemed to suggest she had turned a corner. She warrants the utmost respect. Artistic Integrity needs watching in the market if getting a run as first reserve but the selection is Doc Holiday. Ed Lynam horse is potentially very well handicapped. Now eleven pounds below his last winning mark and dropping into a 47-65 handicap for the first time, Doc Holiday looks to hold a lot of cards here. He was run out of it late on in a better race recently and now is fitted with a hood first time which at his age may just see him finish out the race better. His form over the past twelve months has been solid without spectacular and I just feel there is a race in him. From a good draw and good young apprentice on board, the money should come again and I see going very close.
Doc Holiday (WIN)
A quick jump over the Irish see to take in one race from the Midlands track. Another competitive race this time over twelve furlongs. Soul Searcher is a clear favourite at the moment. To my eye this price looks completely wrong and looks far too short. He finished second last month over this course but over a slightly longer trip The drop back down to a mile and a half, does not appear to be what the horse was crying out for, but he has course and distance form in a lower grade and the trainer is in good form.
That said he was beaten by my selection Frenzified at Salisbury fairly convincingly. Frenzified still has three pounds in hand on Soul Searcher and her last two runs on soft ground are very excusable (hampered in one and slowly away in other). Both were also in a higher grade. She had won back to back races at this level on better ground over the summer and her running still would indicate there is more to come. She looks much overpriced been double the price at time of writing than Soul Searcher.
Of the remainder Coillte Cailin is an admirable sort but probably needs some help from the handicapper. Definitely one to look out for over the winter. Off the bigger priced horses Sherrif Of Nawton should find a race soon. Back down to a workable mark now, however I would need to see some better form prior to getting involved.
Back to Ireland for our final race and another competitive handicap over twelve furlongs with nine set to go to post. Eric The Grey is the market leader and finished a good third over course and distance last week He still potentially has a couple of pounds in hand but it is obvious that he is in good form and offers very little SP value. Cocoon is another who ran at Navan on Wednesday. She does look a potential winner but her attitude is questionable and was very weak in a winnable race during the week. Toreen Legend very rarely backs up a good run and is fairly readily overlooked. Both Ed Lynam horses are starting to look well treated and Break My Mind is the more interesting of the two but has only one once so it is hard to get a feel for what level she should be running at.
That narrows the field down farily well and the one I am keen on is Here For The Craic.. From a lesser know trainer but has booked services of Seamie Heffernan for today. Last seen way down the field in the Irish Ceasrewich. That may appear deceiving however as he travelled fairly well into the race prior to been genuine non stayer. This eight year old was originally a national hunt horse and is fairly unexposed on the flat having only run seven times and placing on five occasions.
His form in two good Curragh maidens and behind Intasari at Navan reads well. Especially the latter as Intasari fairly bolted up like a good thing recently over course and distance. Still fairly lightly raced for his age. There is more to come and is taken to win here.
Here For The Craic (WIN)