It is a long way from Nottingham maiden success to classic winner but Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean continues to attract support for Thursday’s Dante Stakes at York and is now 7/2 with BetVictor from 4/1 for his Knavesmire examination and 12s from 14s for the Derby at Epsom next month.
There was a band of rain forecast to hit Beverley on Monday with further showers forecast for Tuesday and the ground at the Humberside track could easily ride softer than the official description at time of writing of good to firm and good in places.
Gerry The Glover (3.30) is very well treated on his best form and is given the each way vote in the extended mile handicap with any easing in the ground considered a plus. The form of the Brian Ellison stable does temper confidence, but the selection looked back to something like his best on his Pontefract reappearance and is 2lbs lower than when failing to settle at Ascot last time. He is fitted with cheek-pieces this afternoon and must go close in a hot little race.
Mountain Angel (5.00) gave a decent sort of Jeremy Noseda’s a fright at Doncaster on his first start on turf and he must be hard to beat in the 7f maiden for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni who is riding as well as anyone at present.
At Warwick Rocknrollrambo (4.10) lost little in defeat at Market Rasen on Saturday when only the well-handicapped Pawn Star prevented him landing his fourth straight win. Robbie Dunne gets on very well with the selection who gave the impression at the weekend that a return to a left-handed track would see him in an even better light.
I’m Still Waiting was pulled out of a race at Kempton on Monday due to the going which actually eased after trainer Fergal O’Brien took him out. The five-year-old makes his handicap debut off a very lowly mark and is fitted with a hood to help him settle. If the market speaks in his favour he might be worth an interest but Cousin Khee, (3.40) will appreciate any easing in the ground and the veteran gets the vote.
The Hughie Morrison-trained 10-year-old has won over higher marks in the past and looked on good terms with himself when second from a 1lb lower mark last time at Wincanton. Tom O’Brien has been in the plate for both hurdle wins and takes over in the saddle again this afternoon.
At Southwell Gorran Haven (5.30) ran his best race yet when third over today’s C&D last time and he is taken to gain a first career win from the same mark this evening.
I’m looking forward to the chase debut of Minella Aris (6.00) who was a winning hurdler over 3 miles here back in November but has, surprisingly looked a non-stayer in two subsequent outings. A winning point-to-pointer this looks a decent starting point in what looks a cracking race for the time of year.
The maiden hurdle looks match between Bach De Clermont and the hurdling newcomer Charlie Papa Lima (7.30) with marginal preference for the latter. Both main protagonists are winning point-to-pointers but the selection ran well at Fakenham when runner up in a Bumper returning from a six-month lay-off and could improve past the Evan Williams trained favourite.
The form of Dragon De La Tour’s (8.30) second at Ludlow last time was given a boost when the winner doubled up from a 5lbs higher mark back at the Shropshire track on Sunday. The selection jumped markedly out to the left at his last two flights last time and this left-handed track should suit.
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