One time AOB talking horse Apache looks the most interesting contender in this race. On the few times he has run on good ground or better his record is very decent. His last run before leaving Aidan O’Briens yard when 3rd in the Melrose Handicap at York of a 5lbs higher mark proves he is well capable of getting involved here if he can re-capture that form. He had a 2 year layoff before running an ok race at Lingfield when travelling as well as anything but running out of steam. Hopefully the new trainer is taking a leave out of AOB’s book and the horse will have improved considerably for that run. Joseph is in the saddle today and the 16/1 price today looks value for what is still a relatively unexposed horse.
1 Point win 16/1 Stan James
I’m going to go with Pearl Ice in this competitive handicap. He was a horse that was looked like he was about to climb the ranks after a few impressive runs last year particularly an easy win Ripon. He did disappoint after than a few times, but that can be the way sprints go and I wouldn’t be surprised with another year on board if he can do what it looked like he might last year after that run. It sort of looks like he has been chosen ahead of Hitchens, by Gibbons ,who is in great form judging my his last run, although it’s hard to be sure about that. The 16/1 generally available looks a bit of value for hopefully a sprinter that might fulfil some untapped potential this year.
1 Point win 16/1 Generally
I’m also going to have a small bet on the outsider of the field in Johannes, simply because he isn’t a 40/1 shot to get back to some form here. He had a great season last year and didn’t really get involved in the race at all in his season re-appearance, which can happen in these races. 40/1 looks an overreaction to that run.
½ Point EW 40/1 Generally
I’m going to go with Dermot Welds Rasmeyaa in this. She won one of the years better maidens last year with loads in hand in front of a bucket load of future winners, and the trainer will not normally send one here unless he feels she is going to be competitive. This race has the look of being a bit substandard, although in fairness it’s hard to tell yet. I just liked the look of that run and in my view it was probably about as impressive as anything else in this field. The 14 on Betfair looks a bit of value.
1 Point win 14.0 Betfair
It could well be last chance saloon for Hillview Boy for me here, as I’ve selected him a few times in the past and although I’ve got a place or 2 out of him he has generally been disappointing. He ran a great first race this season at Doncaster but was very disappointing next time out. The step up in trip here will certainly suit as will the lower handicap mark. He also has decent form before on soft ground. 16/1 looks decent value and if he can get back to the form of his first run this year he stands a great chance here.
1 Point EW 16/1 Paddy Power & Others