We kick off todays action with the first of two from Yorkshire at Pontefract. The race sees fifteen looking to go to post and as it stands David Nicholls Hit The Lights is the market favourite. The course winner hasn’t finished outside of the top four in fourteen of his last fifteen fights. The Nicholls yard is bang in form at the moment and with such a consistent horse has a fantastic chance as the worthy favourite. That being said however with fifteen runners entered you have to find value.
Another trainer who has his horses in fine fettle at the moment is Les Eyre and he saddles the bottom weight Sandra’s Secret. An impressive return as a three year old finishing fourth of sixteen last time out. There’s no doubt it’ll come on for that run and with former champion jockey Paul Hanagan now taking the ride it has to have a fantastic chance and as far as I’m concerned is the biggest threat to the selection.
The one I’m going for is one of the oldest runners in the race as David Brown’s Ruby’s Day enters the race five pounds lower than its highest winning mark. The horse was disappointing at Haydock last time out but prior to that a second placed finish at Hamilton was more eye-catching. A previous second placed finish over course and distance last year in a much better handicap looks like decent form and with the added bonus of Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle it could go well at a decent price. The seven year old also has its preferred firmer ground and although drawn high should be in with a chance.
Ruby’s Day (E/W)
We stick at “Ponte” and look to the final race on the card, a one mile, class four handicap.
It looks a pretty open race and with five course and distance winners in the mix it’s clear that many hold a great chance.
The Mark Johnston three year old Rosy Morning is the favourite and has a decent chance after finishing second in a course and distance handicap last time out. However the horse’s only victory was in a maiden on the all-weather and although its chance seems to be decent I couldn’t back it today.
Rosy Morning’s only victory came under the horsemanship of Silvestre De Sousa who abandons that mount in favour of David O’Meara’s Terhaal and between the two I feel the O’Meara charge has a better chance than the favourite.
My selection comes from the pot of five course and distance winners as five year old Trinity Star heads to the venue of a previous success. Now racing off a mark of 76 which is just one pound higher than its last winning mark so it isn’t inconceivable that this mark is beyond him. The horses form at Pontefract reads very well with two victories and two third’s in four starts and looks to go close once again.
Trinity Star (E/W)
Ending todays trio of selections sees us head up to Musselburgh for a fourteen runner handicap where I’m siding with last years race winner Neuf Des Coeurs. The Ian Jardine runner enters the race off a very good handicap mark and at the age of five still has scope to carry on picking up victories. Garry Whillians takes the ride and with it an additional five pounds off the horses back thanks to his apprentice weight allowance. With a price of around 8/1 it’s definitely worth an each way punt.
Of the remaining runners the one I fear the most is Richard Fahey’s top weight Gabrial The Terror the very consistent Henry Smith however the aforementioned runner is very inconsistent and is hard to pinpoint when it’s expected to run well and Gary Moss’s charge looks too short a price at around 4/1.
Neuf Des Coeurs (E/W)