1.30 7f Class 2 Apprentice Handicap – Raucous 9/1
Gets the services of top apprentice Cieran Fallon, the gelding was once rated 106 as a 3yo and bar a couple of decent runs he had a poor 4yo season over 6f’s and moved from William Haggas to Robert Cowell, he carried on over the sprint trips and took advantage on his lowest career mark of 90 to win at Doncaster, that was a big return to form and carried that through to the end of the season in some good races off marks as high as 99, he returned this season in the same mood after a 213 day break to finish half a length away from race fit winner Alsvinder, he’s pleased in his next 3 races while the handicapper has been kind and dropping him gradually leaving on a good workable mark, but the key is the step up to 7f for me, he’s been crying out for the extra trip for some time and finally gets it here from a good draw to boot.
2.00 2m Class 2 Marathon Championship Conditions – Amade 10/11 no single (part of 3.25/1 treble)
Aircraft Carrier for a while over the winter looked the one to be on for this, he bagged 3 straight wins on the bounce improving in every race until a below form run in a AW fast track qualifier at Chelmsford where Amade simply blew the field away on just his 2nd start on British shores to bag 5 straight wins in a row which started in France, he’s now unbeaten over staying trips. The manner of the way he won LTO tells me that there’s plenty more to come and the form took a big boost when the near 4 length 104 rated 2nd Elegiac won a listed event on the turf NTO. He’ll enjoy the fast pace on offer with Watersmeet and Stamford Raffles in the field and the yard book French top jockey Christophe Soumillon who knows the gelding well and is 2 from 2 on his back already.
2.30 7f Fillies and Mares Championship Conditions – Castle Hill Cassie 11/1
Island Of Life the fav for the race at present certainly deserves it with 3 convincing wins and a big 2nd in a listed to a 108 rated Above The Rest, with Cardsharp back in 3rd winning NTO and even further back Keystroke who won the big Group 3 sprint in the week at Newmarket, so the market have it spot on, on form IMO. But there’s one I can’t turn my eye from is Castle Hill Cassie, she clearly loves the Tapeta with her record reading 211121 and even though she’s yet to win on the poly she’s certainly shown she goes on it well with 2 good runs, one with half a length loss and the other a strong run in a listed over a mile trip which she encountered for the first time, so I don’t have many worries there, she’s an improving 5yo and very consistent, but the main reason she’s the pick for the race was on her penultimate run where 2nd to the strong form fav Island Of Life, not only did she run into many in running problems she was also giving away 3lb to the winner, she was much stronger than Island Of Life that day and today she’s 3lb better off here, a repeat of that will see her reverse the form, she has however got a bad wide draw to contend with and the early pace could have been stronger so will need a lot of luck, but don’t you always?