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24th July 2024 12:19 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."


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Back from advising the Pitcairns on their self-isolation policies, here are my thoughts on today’s racing

Ascot 1.20

A case can be made for every one of these runners and Nicky Henderson’s FALCO BLITZ is an attractive option. However, I very much like the look of Honeyball’s SULLY D’OC AA who shaped well at Newbury and may improve further following wind surgery – tongue tie also applied.

SULLY D’OC AA 2pt e/w

Wetherby 1.35

This is a difficult race to call with most runners being FTO and I would be nervous of short-priced horses. On that basis, I am avoiding the very obvious claims of GUY and am looking to
find some good value elsewhere. I was tempted by the claims of THOMAS TODD and HE’S NO TROUBLE, but both have question marks about their jumping. In the end, I have picked
out two each-way options in the shape of WELL SMITTEN and DANDOLO DU GITE. Their respective trainers, Sam England and Neil Mulholland are in good form and neither will be
inconvenienced by the going. WELL SMITTEN will need to improve at the weights but has been progressive for the Yorkshire yard since joining them last year. The big question mark
over DANDOLO DU GITE is his 528-day absence but Mulholland can get them fit when fresh. Those looking for longer odds might cast an eye in the direction of NOBEL LEADER. On his
2018/19 form he is well in off bottom-weight and it is just possible that a recent wind operation might revive him.


Ascot 1.55

CAPELAND and IBLEO (everybody loves a bit of Venetia in the mud) will compete for favouritism but given the underfoot conditions I am going to risk an each-way bet on
FLAMINGER. By Racinger, he loves the mud and I expect Joshua Moore to slog it out from the front. If FLAMINGER puts in a decent round of jumping they might struggle to catch him.

FLAMINGER 2pts win

Wetherby 1.55

VERDANA BLUE is by far the best horse in this race but there is no value available. I have opted for a cheeky each-way without the favourite and ROSE AND MILLIE has performed
well on the ground and might improve for a recent wind-op.

ROSE AND MILLIE 1pt e/w @ 5/1 betting without the favourite

Down Royal 2.35

Captain Knees-up doesn’t tend to be a big fan of social mobility and a horse who fails too often at the highest level tends to be condemned by the great man. So it comes as something of a surprise that he has tipped up CHRIS’S DREAM who has yet to prove himself at Grade 1 level. However, I tend to agree with him as de Bromhead’s charge goes well fresh and won’t mind the conditions. However, PRESENTING PERCY is definitely upwardly mobile in that he has joined the hallowed stables of Gordon Elliott. If the great man improves this admirable gelding he will
take some beating.

PRESENTING PERCY 2pts win – CHRIS’S DREAM 1pt e/w – 0.5pt reverse forecast on the two

Wetherby 2.45

I don’t much like this race. However, I have picked out CHAPMANSHYPE as being a bit overpriced.


Ascot 3.05

I like KID COMMANDO in this. He looks a progressive type and may well be better than his first-time handicap mark. Breeding suggests he’ll be ok on the going and Honeyball will have
him ready.


Wetherby 3.20

Really intriguing renewal of the Charlie Hall with Altior’s conqueror CYRNAME heading the bill. He is the best horse in the race but doubts about stamina and a left-handed track have
meant a flood of smart money for VINNDICATION – they deserve to be at the top of the betting. I like SAM SPINNER AND KEEPER HILL but both have made mistakes jumping and
conditions will be unforgiving today. Previous winner BALLYOPTIC carries a penalty this year but will be a contender and I suspect LA BAGUE ROI might is very favourably treated due to
her 7lbs mare’s allowance.

BALLYOPTIC 1pt e/w – LA BAGUE ROI 1pt e/w

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