Angus McNae: Japan could prove sharper than Too Darn Hot in fascinating Dante

By Angus McNae
Wed 15 May 2019

A nice 7-1 winner in Poyle Vinnie at Chelmsford last week kept things rolling here on the blog and I have four selections for you today, majoring on the superb action at York's Dante Festival meeting.

By way of an update to my ante-post fancy for the Wokingham - On the Warpath - I note that he has been raised to a mark of 110 after his Newmarket win which means he has hit the upper threshold but will get a run giving weight away all round if connections so desire. I would think it’s a very good spot for this Group-class sprinter.

1.50 York: Copper Knight at 14-1 with BetVictor and Coral

I tipped this horse at Chester and in a bizarre turn of events he was beaten into second by Merhoob. I say bizarre because in a race in which he looked set to dominate from stall one, he was pressed and harried by his stable-companion Confessional which softened him up for the winner's closing effort.

Nonetheless this was a very good effort on the clock and even off a mark of 100 that recent effort shows him to be in tremendous form and to be pretty well treated. The ground at Chester was on the easy side. Here on better ground he looks certain to run well again at a generous-looking price.

3.00 York: Japan at 5-1 with William Hill, BetVictor and Bet365

There is no doubt the superb talent that is Too Darn Hot will be hard to beat but there are enough negatives surrounding his reappearance for me to want to side with the rapidly-improving Japan.

Too Darn Hot looked precocious and fast last year, his small frame masking a huge engine but although there is stamina in his pedigree, he looked all about speed last year and even 10 furlongs may end up stretching him. He has also had a stop-start preparation for this with his a splint bone problem.

Japan, on the other hand, looks to be a colt of immense promise who should be suited to a step up to today’s trip. He fired a fast time when he won the Beresford last year and he may be too strong for a perhaps ring-rusty Too Darn Hot.

6.55 Newmarket: The Pinto Kid at 9-2 with Bet365)

Despite two fairly recent wins I am not sure that the handicapper has caught up with this horse yet. His hat-trick bid was foiled at Chelmsford on his most recent start, but that was off a five-month lay-off and he should be all the better for that reappearance.

He was particularly impressive at Kempton last November where he travelled strongly and surged to the front having been held up in a race run at a steady gallop. That effort suggests he has plenty more to give and a mark of 77 here is one that is just 3lb higher than for that impressive success. In a competitive affair he should go well.

8.35 Newmarket: Migration (6-4 - Various)

This horse probably should have won on his handicap debut at Sandown but having been slowly away and then short of room, he got going all too late and ended up being beaten by half a length.

That run was off a mark of 82 and rather harshly in my view he has been raised 4lb for being beaten but I am not going to be put off by that because I think he is a horse of considerable potential with plenty of handicapping

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