With the weather intervening and claiming the fixture at Ayr, there’s just one meeting in the UK this afternoon with the Racing TV cameras at Catterick.
There’s a busier evening with action at Windsor and Wolverampton, as well as Ballinrobe in Ireland. I’ve got a couple of fancies at Catterick plus one from both Windsor and Wolverhampton.
Medahim has steadily worked his way back into form since joining Ivan Furtado and should find this a shade less competitive than recent assignments. Danny Tudhope got a good tune out him when second at York last time and a reproduction of that effort could well be enough to go one better.
Given that he always seems to run well when encountering ground softer than good it’s surprising he hasn’t raced on an easy surface more regularly and these conditions should suit, as will the likely strong pace expected to be set by confirmed front runners Raselasad and Hells Babe.
Tonto’s Spirit hasn’t run on the Flat since disappointing on the AW at Newcastle in November 2017 but he won back to back races here prior to that and returns to this track under what look optimal conditions and off a fair mark.
Having just been touched off at Cartmel last time over fences, he comes into the race looking like a back-to-form animal and appears to have a very good chance of securing a tactical advantage in a small field that lacks regular front runners.
Trainer Michael Herrington is enjoying his best-ever season with his current tally of 13 winners coming at a strike rate of 18% so far in 2019. Though still a maiden after nine starts Barbarosa appeals as one to be interested in off a falling mark.
He has looked like a horse in good form on recent outings at a higher level than the race he contests today, having shaped well when fourth off a 3lb higher mark here on his penultimate start before a wide draw counted against him at Beverley last time. His starting berth of 10 again isn’t ideal they will hopefully go a good pace in front as that would give him a better opportunity to tuck in and avoid a wide passage.
Bartimaeus didn’t give himself a chance of staying the longer trip when upped to a mile and a half at Wolverhampton last time having raced too freely in the first half of the race but he looked like a horse in form and still wasn’t disgraced.
His previous third at Lingfield behind a very well handicapped winner was a solid effort and though he might not be entirely straightforward Oisin Murphy could be the man to coax a bit more out of him and at double-figure odds he’s worth backing each way to small stakes as he returns to a mile and a quarter.
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