A winner on Tuesday night with Kings Head doing it nicely. We€™ve believed for a while that he is a decent hurdler in the making and it€™s good to see a little proof of that. He needs top of the ground and he doesn€™t get that often in the winter months, so he€™ll probably always be a summer horse. His target now will probably be the Galway Hurdle, and he needs to climb the weights a little if he is to get in.
The Dee Stakes looks the highlight today, and Unnefer, who beat Bouguereau last time, takes on a couple of well touted types. I think in time Unnefer will turn out to be a proper racehorse €“ we spoke to Henry Cecil about him at Newbury.
- He may be a 10f specialist and wouldn€™t really get the mile and a half
- He likes a bit of juice in the ground, which he may not get today
- He has been working exceptionally well at home.
- He€™s a light framed horse who doesn€™t take much getting ready €“ he was fully fit last time and may not come on for the run as much as some.
It€™s a mixed picture. I think he€™ll run a decent race and the price is ok €“ I may have a small bet but no more.
In the 3:10 at Lingfield Ocean Blaze lines up – he didn€™t get home last time on ground that was probably too soft. Conditions look thereabouts right today and he has a progressive profile. I like the horse and I€™ll definitely be backing him.
Pete runs Rayvin Mad in the 5:55 at Ripon, and whilst not a superstar this is a straightforward assignment. I’d expect him to win.
The big news from Haydock is that against our expectation Mon Michel has got in the Swinton. This is exciting €“ we€™ve been thinking about the race for him for a long time, but we slipped a few points in the handicap in the late season and I thought we€™d blown it. Haydock is a galloping track which will suit, the ground is spot on for him and he€™ll be happier at the bottom of the weights as he isn€™t over big. It€™s a great opportunity to pick up a Grade 3 hurdle €“ his spiritual brother (Kings Head) won this week and it would be great if he could complete the Gary Moore double.
Later on the same card Scrapper Smith makes his debut for the Comic Strip Heroes, and a good run is expected. It€™s difficult to know how competitive this race is €“ Scrapper is very decent but there may be better horses in the race. If the market suggests nothing is fancied too strongly then he€™ll be worth following.
In the 4:05 at Nottingham Lilac Moon comes out after a long break, and she corrected her €œstraight in front€ problem over the winter. She€™ll be fit enough for her reappearance, and with Tom Queally in the saddle I€™m confident of a good run. After this run she€™ll go into amateur ladies races for a while €“ she€™s a nice horse on a low mark and could be one to follow throughout the summer.
Medicea Sidera is an interesting each way bet in the 1:45 at Ascot €“ a nice horse who looked a solid campaigner last year. At Nottingham Crystany takes on the older horse in the 3:25, and she may gain recompense from her unlucky run last time. In the 4:30 at Haydock, Welsh Emperor, winner of the race in 2005, may benefit from any cut in the ground.
In the 7:10 at Thirsk Edwin Tuer renews his relationship with Robert Winston with Maneki Neko, and this course and distance winner is on a winning mark. This may be a good opportunity for Winston to notch up another success in his race for the jockeys championship.
Eve Johnson Houghton is quietly having a few winners, and dual course and distance winner Phluke tries to make the second start of the year a winning one for the third year running in the 7:25 at Warwick. He€™s fallen to a nice mark, and if he retains his ability should make a pretty bold show.