Racing TV presenter Chris Dixon reveals four horses to add to your Racing TV tracker, a race to keep an eye on and one to oppose next time out
It’s funny how things change. A few months ago I would hardly have relished a visit to Redcar during Royal Ascot on an evening when it was pouring down with rain, but after enduring a few months without any racing at all, it’s been great to be back out and about on the track for Racing TV over the past few weeks.
I also spent a day in the sunshine at Thirsk which was even more enjoyable and it’s partly because of those visits to those lower profile meetings that you won’t find any Royal Ascot analysis in the following notes and angles.
Instead, the focus is mainly on mid to low-grade handicaps for this week’s horses of interest and hot race, starting with a piece of strong form from my visit to Redcar.
Last week I went for a race featuring older horses as my potential ‘hot race’ and it was good to see Groveman, the first runner from that contest, win at Thirsk on Monday.
The form is represented again in the opener at Haydock on Thursday afternoon by Well Funded who should appreciate the longer trip, but would ideally prefer softer ground.
This week I’m reverting to a more obvious middle-distance three-year-old handicap and the race won by First Impression. The winner, who returned from a break to follow up his win at Ayr last year was well served by the easing conditions and showed a good attitude.
He seems sure to progress, especially when tackling 12f, while even further down the line I can see him making up into a smart juvenile hurdler.
The next four home all appeal as likely types for similar races ahead, including Make It Rain who also ran in the Yarmouth race I put forward as hot form in the opening notes and angle column.
Unlike the winner, she seemed unsuited by the conditions and remains of interest when back on a fast surface.
Four for your Racingtv.com tracker
Horse: Thames River
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien.
Keeping on top of all the British racing is a job in itself, so it’s quite rare that I note horses running in Ireland.
However, whilst watching the Racing TV coverage last week, I was paying attention to the action at Gowran Park.
In the process, a horse called Thames River popped up as being of interest when very well backed for what appeared to be a strong three-year-old handicap.
Seemingly unsuited by the track, he was never able to get into a challenging position, but his demeanour and pedigree suggest he could be a different horse at a more galloping track and over longer distances.
Entered in the Tattersalls Gold Cup next month, he is seemingly held in some regard by his excellent trainer and seems likely to be a very well handicapped horse.
Horse: Undercover Brother
Trainer: Les Eyre.
Undercover Brother hasn’t stood much racing in recent times, but this lowly-rated sprint handicapper made an encouraging start for his new stable at Beverley last week.
Drawn wide is stall 12, David Allan had to use up plenty of petrol early in the race to get to the lead and that, plus perhaps the lack of a recent run, took its toll late on.
Only beaten three-quarters of a length, he’s since been bumped up 2lb by the handicapper but remains well-treated on old form and his new connections should be able to pick up a low-grade handicap with him soon.
Trainer: Charlie McBride.
Another low-grade sprint handicapper that looks ready to strike soon is Camachess who was lit up a bit too much by the application of blinkers at Newmarket. An eyecatcher at Lingfield on her return to action, Camachess again went with promise in a race that doesn’t look too bad for the grade, racing freely and, as a result, unable to pack a strong finish.
Dropped a further 2lb for this run, she’s now 7lb lower than when completing a five-timer last year and if things drop her way soon, possibly at Yarmouth where she’s gained her last two wins, then she’s up to winning again.
Horse: Galloway Hills
Trainer: Philip Makin.
Galloway Hills had made a winning seasonal reappearance at Redcar last season so looked of real interest when turning up at the same track for his first run of the campaign off a reduced handicap mark last week.
Strong in the market, a good run was clearly anticipated, and a good run he delivered, though not good enough to win as he came home in third spot.
The result doesn’t tell the whole story though, as Galloway Hills fared best of those that raced close to a strong pace and is worth marking up as a result.
The race looks like a solid piece of form for the grade and he’s a well-handicapped horse when things go his way.
One to oppose:
Tigerskin bolted up at Newmarket last week and his connections have found him an opportunity under a 5lb penalty at Haydock on Thursday afternoon that looks a good piece of placing given the handicapper has hit him with an 8lb rise.
However, he beat a field of averagely handicapped horses that day and the form of his stable has been excellent, so whether he’ll be up to defying his revised mark over the coming weeks is questionable.
He’ll be short on Thursday and, if he wins, then he’ll probably be short again so with reservations about the depth of his form and the amount of progress he’ll make, I’ll be taking him on.
Angle to note:
Tigerskin’s win was the latest reappearance runner for the Ralph Beckett team, but it’s been noticeable the amount of improvement his two-year-old’s have been finding from first to second run.
Many of the newcomers from the stable have been green early on their debut but have been much more clued up at the second time of asking. The debut form figures for the two-year-old’s read 775448 while the second time out figures read 122 and it could be worth following the youngsters from the yard once they have a run behind them.Get your free Racing TV fleece - the latest in our range of high-class Racing TV merchandise! Click here for more details.
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