Rhys Williams was on the mark with his only selection yesterday at 5/2 and is back today with two selections at Newbury and Southwell.
Price underplays ability in a race full of doubts
The opening hunter chase at Newbury is a race full of horses with questions to answer and one horse has ended up being a surprisingly big price considering that.
Diplomate Sivola showed a good level of ability during his time with Philip Hobbs when ridden by David Maxwell and he had a very good first season pointing for Alan Hill. He won three of his four races and finished second on the other occasion when he may have had enough for the season.
He was beaten at odds-on on his first run this season at Alnwick but he was without the tongue tie that he wore throughout the previous season. The tongue tie went back on next time and was joined by cheekpieces and he ran well to finish second to Tullys Touch who has won all four starts in points this season.
Diplomate Sivola then returned to racing under rules in the Royal Artillery at Sandown and although he finished last, he was only beaten eight lengths and that was despite his jumping letting him down at various stages. I expect that if either of the first two home in that race were contesting this one then they would be towards the head of the market.
He easily won a fairly weak Open last time when making all despite not jumping too well. That is the concern today as he also has a tendency to edge to his right at fences which won’t be ideal around Newbury.
However, I think he may be suited by the likely good pace in this race if Ami Desbois and Al Shahir take each other on up front and there’s not one completely solid rival against him. Therefore, despite the concerns, I think he’s overpriced and any 20/1 or bigger appeals.
Likely strong pace to suit
This race is likely to be very strongly run with plenty of front runners in the field and that could set the race up for Isle Of Lismore.
He won twice over five furlongs last season on turf at Catterick and Newmarket and followed that up with two good runs in defeat at Windsor and Goodwood. He was hampered early on at Goodwood and ended up further back than planned before travelling strongly and then not having much left late on while racing furthest away from the favoured near rail.
It’s easy to forgive his next run at Lingfield and while he was a bit disappointing on his final two starts of the year, he didn’t travel with his usual enthusiasm on either occasion so there might have been an issue.
Isle Of Lismore now returns from a 156-day break and I’m hoping he will have been freshened up by the break and travel better in the early stages of the race. If that does happen then he is likely to find himself in an ideal position tracking the leading line early on.
Those final two runs last season are a bit of a concern and he hasn’t always been the best away from the stalls but he now drops back into a class 4 for the first time since his Catterick victory and he might just be a class above his rivals. Any 8/1 or bigger appeals.
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