No luck yesterday with King’s Head. I spoke to Gary before the race – he thought the ground was slightly on the soft side of good rather than the fast side as I had originally thought. KH will win again whan the going is fast.
One runner tonight – Parisian Gift goes at Doncaster. We had a good punt on him when he won last time. He has a very respectable chance tonight – Tom’s not had much luck lately but he had a winner yesterday. PG is currently a working man’s price at around 8.2.
There are a few I like today. Pete C-H had a winner yesterday after a long losing run, and also two seconds – he thinks he’s coming into form and I’m going to start following him. He runs Tariq in the Lockinge, and I’ll do well if he wins as I recently bought his half sister. He’d probably like it a little firmer but on his best form Tariq is a serious racehorse – I’ll be backing him.
Of Pete’s other runners the one I like best is Exceptional Art against a hotpot in the 4:45 at Newmarket. This Exceed and Excel colt was not expensive by the standards of his first year sire but goes ok at home. I’ll be following the family throughout this year, and I note that Bryan Smart introduces a fairly costly E&E purchase in the first at Thirsk. The betting suggests that this race is between the Smart horse (Excellent Show) and Mick Channon’s charge, by another first year sire – Kheleyf. For this race on this ground I have a fairly strong preference for the Smart horse on breeding, although Channon’s 2yo string is to be feared at the moment.
Best bet of the day may be Aqlaam in the last at Newbury. The form of his one race last year is rock solid – third behind two strong performers with a big gap to fourth. The stable is in great form, particularly with their 3yos.
In the first at Newmarket I like Hawk Island. His form looks very solid, the conditions of the race look good and the family progress around this time. In the 4:55 at Thirsk Classic Encounter may be value at a price of around 10/1. He hasn’t had his conditions for a while and really should be shorter than this.