A real bonus for midweek racing as today we have the return of two time Cheltenham Festival winner Yorkhill in The Suir Valley Chase over at Clonmel, along with competitive cards at Hereford and Hexham, followed by an evening meeting at Wolverhampton under the floodlights.
It looks to be a winnable day for the punters and fingers crossed we have found some winning selections to ensure we end the day ahead!
Its good to see Hereford back staging competitive meetings and the best bet on this afternoons card looks to come in the 2mile Juvenile hurdle at 2:30pm where we expect upcoming trainer Harry Whittington to have another winner with ZANZI WIN.
The Sparsholt handler is making a real splash and looks to have another exciting youngster on his hands for leading owners Andrew & Kate Brooks. The French import has always shown a fair bit at home but didn’t seem to be finishing his races and was no surprise to see him undergo a wind operation earlier this year, which seems to have done the trick as put up a career best effort when runner up to Arch My Boy at Fakenham last time out.
He was asked to make the running at Fakenham, and looked to suit so would expect jockey Gavin Sheehan to kick out and look to make all and could be hard to pass up the long Hereford home straight.
The main market rival is Tiffin Top for Alan King, who similarly looks the type to improve with racing, and Tom Lacey’s newcomer By Order Of would be interesting if well supported, but its hard to see past Zanzi Win who looks set to open his account on these shores.
A cracking card at Clonmel this afternoon with the likes of Yorkhill and Polidam in action but the horse that jumps off the page and looks a cracking value selection is the Declan Queally trained CLOUDY MORNING in the handicap chase at 4:50pm.
Queally is a very shrewd handler and looks to have placed this veteran well this afternoon. We last saw Cloudy Morning when returning to the track at Wexford having been operating in point to points, and this return run earlier this month was eye catching – a solid runner up behind Crazyheart over 2miles.
This step up in trip is likely to bring further improvement as he has scored numerous times over 3miles previously, and as is likely to strip fitter for the comeback effort another big run looks on the cards. He looks handicapped to go close also, once rated as high as 113 and coming into today’s contest from 104, Queally must feel he has him well treated at the current time.
Kilbarry Calling rates as the main danger as scored well last time and could be on the upgrade, but its Cloudy Morning we expect to take the beating and looks fair value at the morning prices.
Trainer Keith Dalgliesh has an excellent strike rate with his bumper horses, especially when teaming up with leading Northern jockey Brian Hughes and the combination look to have the best bet on the Hexham card this afternoon in the finale with SIDI ISMAEL.
The 5 yr-old has only been seen on the race track under rules the twice, and improved a significant amount from the debut when 3rd behind the well regarded Ebony Jewel last time out at Ayr. This looks to be a form-line to follow as was by far the best winning time in comparison on the card and many youngsters in the race seemed to be very well fancied.
This looks a much easier contest, and a similar performance would likely be good enough to take first place honours. Sidi Ismael also boosts some good form from his point to point days, and looks the type to make into a real nice horse for connections in time.
The main danger looks to be the likely favourite, Djebel Rome for Rebecca Menzies who also boosts some solid bumper form and is sure to progress into a nice horse, but under today’s conditions it is Sidi Ismael we expect to score and looks to be a horse to follow for the future.
Another highly competitive card from the Midlands this evening under the floodlights and we need to wait until the last contest for the banker of the meeting, where we expect the Tom Dascombe trained JACKSTAR to score once again and progress on to bigger and better things.
Dascombe never really has his string ready to go first time so was really significant that Jackstar scored on debut in a hot Newmarket novice event. He was well backed that day and the comments from the trainer afterwards were very encouraging and suggested that he felt he had a proper horse on his hands who would progress into a much higher level.
This would look an easier contest, and granted that he is anywhere near full fitness for the return to the track really should take all the beating.
Of the dangers, Soul Searching looks the main rival, and Global Destination could be a horse to side with once handicapping, but for today’s contest it is hard to see past Jackstar who looks the banker of the day.