Zetland Gold Cup day at Redcar provided one of the highlights for the year for me in 2018 as Big Country came home in front to make for a memorable afternoon in the north-east and, though I won’t be getting quite so excited about anything managing to win today, I am hoping I’ve managed to pinpoint a winner or two on a busy bank holiday Monday with four selections from a variety of meetings.
Top Breeze failed to run up to his best on testing ground at Chester last time but wasn’t disgraced and, based on his previous win in what looked a competitive race at Newmarket, he should be difficult to beat.
The return to a quicker surface today should be in his favour and, although his win came over 6f, the pace he showed there suggests he won’t have an issue with winning at the minimum trip.
With no other confirmed front runners in the field, he’s unlikely to face much early competition for the lead and is fancied to make all.
Lady Reset has progressed well since switching to handicap company, taking her record in handicaps to two from two at Chepstow last time and has an excellent chance of landing the hat-trick here.
In seeing off a clutch of other well-handicapped horses, she won what looked a warm race for the grade last time - a view backed up by the time figure - and she should be up to defying a rise of 7lb in the handicap.
Her pedigree and the way she saw her race out last time suggests she will progress again as she goes up a further two furlongs in trip.
Mr Carbonator is yet to win on turf and hasn’t got his head in front since winning at Southwell in January of last year but has become well handicapped and has looked back in good form on his latest couple of outings on the grass.
Second to another well-treated horse in Casement at Pontefract three runs ago, he disappointed at Southwell before returning to form when back up to this trip of 10f at Nottingham last time.
That Nottingham form appealed as an above average race for the grade and, given how well he ran there, he makes plenty of appeal as he drops in class here.
Motahassen is competitively handicapped at present (1lb above the mark for his only win to date) and has been shaping like a horse who is soon ready to come good again.
Having travelled well in front when sixth at Thirsk on his penultimate start, he was a bit too keen when ridden with more restraint at Doncaster last time but still ran well to finish fourth.
That latest effort came in 0-70 company and today’s drop into a 0-60 handicap represents an easier opportunity.
I hope connections revert to more positive tactics today over a course and distance where it often favours those ridden up with the pace but whatever way they choose to ride him Motahassen appeals as a horse who will soon be gaining his second success and this looks a decent opportunity to do just that.