Today’s going reports via the BHA.
Ayr: Good to Soft, Good (in places)
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At Ayr in the 14:05 Handicap Chase, trainer Nicky Richards has a 23% strike rate and saddles Houston Texas 4.03/1, who goes in search of a third successive win. Richards has booked Sean Quinlan, and together they are profitable GBP53.14 to a GBP1 level stake.
In the 14:40 at Ayr, trainer William Young Jr has an excellent 27% strike rate over fences and saddles six times course winner Ardera Cross 11.010/1.
In the 17:40 at Wolverhampton, three-year-olds get a whopping 11 pounds weight for age allowance. Trainer Adrian Paul Keatley teams up with Joanna Mason on Alaskan Jewel 5.04/1, and she has ridden first and second for the trainer from three rides.
In the 19:45 at Wolverhampton, trainer Keith Dalgleish makes the 272-mile journey for just the one runner. Hot Diggity Dog 4.57/2 is partnered with Joe Fanning, who has a 21% strike rate here this season.
Newmarket’s Craven meeting kicks off today, and in the 13:50 Handicap, 2018, winning trainer Ed Walker saddles the useful Popmaster 6.05/1 partnered by Tom Marquand, and the pair have a 17% strike rate in the last five years.
Trainer Richard Hannon will be looking for his third win in the last ten years when saddling Tacarib Bay3.02/1 in the 14:25 at Newmarket.
2,000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas 2.01/1 returns to action in the 15:00 at Newmarket. Last year, he won on this card before posting a career-best effort in the classic. He faces six rivals, including Megallan 3.55/2, ridden by Frankie Dettori, and Bell Rock 7.513/2, who has an excellent record when reappearing at this track (3-3).
Classic hopes for the fillies will be tested in the 15:35 Nell Gwyn Stakes, and Perfect News 6.05/1 represents last years winning trainer William Haggas.
Horses for courses
This section highlights the best bets from horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks.
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Keith Dalgleish, who made the 353 -mile journey to Newmarket with his sole runner Chichester in the 15:00.
Race of the day
We take a closer look at Newmarket’s 14:25 European Free Handicap, where a small field of five runners take to the turf, and all bar today’s favourite make their seasonal debut.
That favourite is New Science, who made his seasonal return at Meydan when shaping like a non-stayer over 1m. Still, that return run was well below his Royal Ascot Pat Eddery Stakes win last year, which is now starting to look like a stand-out performance given he hasn’t managed to match those figures.
Still, he is entitled to improve for his Meydan run and the return to Britain for the first time since Ascot could see him return to winning ways. The drop back in trip is certainly a positive, and he should run well under today’s conditions.
He is not as far clear of these as the market suggests, though!
Tacarib Bay has achieved a high level of form in two starts, and there is a good chance there are stacks more to come from him tackling good ground for the first time in his career.
His improvement from his debut to his excellent second in the Horris Hill at Newbury was a sizeable step forward, and he will prove tough to beat with natural improvement. The slight concern is this undulating track given his inexperience, and he didn’t look the most balanced horse at Newmarket on soft ground.
Ribhi was a bit underwhelming on his final start at Salisbury when a fortunate winner on soft ground. That was a backwards step after showing significant potential in two starts before. He was outpaced in the Flying Scotsman at Doncaster, and the concern is that he will find one or two speedier types over this 7f trip today.
He is certainly not one to give up on returning to a sounder surface, but he may be wanting for speed today, given this race is not guaranteed to be run at a blistering clip. He will get further in time.
Big race verdict
A competitive race, but the preference is for Tacarib Bay, who has the potential to improve past New Science at the top of the market and should be well suited by today’s quicker going. The track is a concern, but he looks potentially group material on the evidence he has shown thus far.
Ryan Moore returns to action for Betfair
Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore is back in the saddle for another season of exclusive insight into all his rides starting with an exciting trio at Newmarket on Tuesday…
Well-handicapped Ostilio worth the risk!
In the 13:50 Handicap at Newmarket Ostilio 21.020/1 makes plenty of each-way appeal at the morning odds and has stacks in his favour off of a much-reduced handicap mark.
The seven-year-old has been kept to the all-weather this season for two different yards, but his record on that surface is just one for 11, and the win came in a Class 6 selling event – he is certainly better on turf.
His last seven runs have also come over a trip of seven furlongs or a mile, and he is far too keen to run over those trips these days, usually fading late.
He was a big eye-catcher in the Listed Beverley Bullet on his penultimate start on turf over five furlongs when staying on powerfully at the finish and was a big fancy of mine for the Ayr Gold Cup (last start on turf) when up to today’s six-furlong trip. Since then, he has dropped nine pounds in the Handicap and returns to turf for the first time today to a venue he scored on his only visit in 2018.
His three attempts at this trip in his career have come in a Listed race, the Stewards Cup (drawn on the wrong side of the track) and the Ayr Gold Cup. Today, this is calmer waters, and Silvestre De Sousa is a positive booking, so he is worth chancing.
The Grand National, for most, is a race to look forward to and enjoy as part of the British tradition, yet every year, racing is forced to defend.This was a big talking point of this week’s Weighed In Podcast, which you can listen to here.Hugh Cahill made an excellent point. Given the safety measures that have been put in place over the years – especially for the Grand National – when will enough be enough?Never is the answer. Until horse racing is banned altogether, some people will always be against it. Many of the people that speak out against the Grand National have little education when it comes to racing, and that may be the sport’s fault, but we shouldn’t be taking notice of those who have no clue how the sport of horse racing works.It bugged me that the BBC recently gave some of these people a platform, and their arguments were simple and basic. They proclaimed that the horses have no choice, and while people get hurt in football, Rugby, and a whole host of other sports, it was the person’s choice, and the horses don’t have that.That person has never seen a horse refuse to jump a fence, refuse to come out of the stalls, or decide to plant itself at a start. That same person also never knew there was horse racing all year round. That person doesn’t realise that these horses are bred for this purpose, and if they had their way to end horse racing altogether, that would mean hundreds of thousands of deaths.Still, the moment we start listening to people like this, with no racing background, who have done no homework, can come up with no solutions and only problems, then we are in big, big trouble.Horse welfare should be the number one priority bar none, and happy and healthy retirement for every horse at the end of their career should be the bare minimum, so we have a leg to stand on when it comes to public loud mouth Karens.If the above is not met and policed, we have a severe problem with the future of this sport. If you can’t find or give the horse a home after their career, excessive breeding needs to be capped because it’s one thing defending this great sport, but it’s another if life is unnecessarily ended. If that’s the case, we certainly won’t be around for much longer.Until tomorrow, be lucky.Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7
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