Sunday’s racing was lit up by the performance of Caravaggio at Naas who extended his unbeaten record to five with a facile win in a Naas Group 3 and the colt is now 5/4 from 2/1 to win next month’s Commonwealth Cup. All ground comes alike to this grey son of Scat Daddy and he looks banker material despite the impressive Newmarket success of Blue Point.
Nothing of the class of Caravaggio at Nottingham this afternoon on ground likely to quicken up considerably, given the forecast, from the official description of soft on Monday afternoon. Alan King’s Coeur De Lion (3.00) was only beaten just over ten lengths in the Triumph Hurdle back in March and the form of his second here over 1m 6f back in October has been given a boost by the winner.
The selection’s stablemate McCools Gold, trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at the time, is 2lbs worse off for beating the selection a length at Bath also in October on fast ground and he will come on for his Chelmsford reappearance. He will be winning sooner rather than later but Coeur De Lion it is for me.
Di Alta won her sole juvenile start at Newbury and must have every chance of maintaining her unbeaten record given the handicapper has given her a chance from an opening handicap mark of 77. A market move would be worth noting but Prize Diva (3.30) is bred to appreciate the step up in trip on her handicap debut and might be worth an each way investment. Regular pilot Shane Kelly goes to Brighton, which might be a tip in itself, so PJ McDonald gets the ride for David Elsworth.
The evening action is over the jumps and at Huntingdon New Agenda (5.35) can go one better for Paul Webber than when second at Kempton last time when he settled well in front for Richard Johnson. The selection can be a tad keen but this flat easy track on good ground should be ideal.
Charlie Longsdon’s Hepijeu (6.35) is very well treated on his best form and he showed some of his old sparkle when third at Uttoxeter (2m 5f) last time. This slight drop in trip won’t inconvenience, Aidan Coleman has been in the plate for both his career wins and connections look to have found an excellent opportunity.
Only three to post for the Novices’ Chase but it is a cracker with Moabit (7.35) making his chase debut for Paul Nicholls. The selection receives 7lbs from previous chase winner Cobra De Mai but the latter will be no pushover given his attacking style of racing.
Ace Irish amateur Jamie Codd is at Hexham this evening for a ride on Final Countdown (8.50) who can go one better than when finishing second at Carlisle earlier in the month. The selection is a four-time winner on the level at up to 10 furlongs and is not the best of finishers over timber. I hope Codd can make the difference.
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