Racing TV presenter Chris Dixon reveals the horses that have caught his eye over the past week, including one the he part-owns, and also a trainer to note who could have plenty of well-handicapped horses in her yard.
It has been a busy few days for me on Racing TV and though I won’t be heading to Aintree this year, I will be out and about over the next few days, starting with a return trip to Chelmsford on Thursday.
The big advantage of being on the track at this stage of the season is seeing the horses in the paddock and making an assessment of how ready certain horses are.
It is certainly the case that some yards make an effort to get their horses ready early, whereas others aren’t in a hurry and their runners will invariably improve for a run or two.
Early pointers suggest that Eric Alston has his team typically well forward, while the stable that have surprised me a bit is that of Michael Dods. I usually associate the yard with bringing their horses along steadily, but they seem to be fairly well forward and looking very well this time around, and therefore warrant respect of their seasonal return.
Onto some horses to add to your racingtv.com tracker, and I have got four suggestions this week, with a couple from both Musselburgh, and Redcar.
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Horse: GOOD LUCK FOX
Trainer: Paul Midgley.
High draws are often advantageous in big-field sprints at Musselburgh, so I thought it was well worth marking up the effort of Good Luck Fox who was third behind a couple of much better berthed horses on Easter Saturday.
Breaking from stall 2, he raced in the smaller group towards the centre of the track, which was probably a bit of a disadvantage, but still ran very well in a race that was a much higher grade than he needs to be in.
A less-sharp 5f may also be ideal looking at how he shaped, and if getting that type of test in a lower grade, then he’d be of real interest off what is a very good mark on old form.
Trainer: David Barron.
Given the race is such a test of speed, I was struggling to get my head around Zarziyni being so short for the Scottish Sprint Cup on Saturday, but he very nearly proved me to be way wide of the mark by being narrowly beaten in a tight finish.
That was despite the sharp track seeming to find him out for much of the race, but he kept on very well, and this effort suggests that he’s a horse with the ability to take a sprint handicap fairly soon, probably at 6f or a stiffer 5f.
Horse: CAN CAN GIRL
Trainer: David Brown.
By Champs Elysees out of a 12f winner, Can Can Girl is bred to be suited by middle distances as a three-year-old, and her reappearance over what looked an inadequate mile at Redcar on Easter Monday was a very encouraging effort, with that in mind.
Fifth home in the end, she looked to be in top gear from a fairly early stage of the race, was definitely short of pace in the middle section but kept on willingly behind a few horses of interest at this sort of level.
She looks sure to progress when upped in trip and appeals as the type to have a very productive season.
Horse: COMETH THE MAN
Trainer: David O'Meara.
As a horse I part-own, I know Cometh The Man well, and although frustratingly just touched off at Redcar on Monday, we had to be delighted with his return to action.
A big gelding, he was a bit weak whilst filling his frame as a two-year-old and couldn’t quite sustain his effort in races having often travelled well.
Having developed and strengthened up significantly over the winter, he looked a different proposition here, finishing his race off well from much further back than the two race-fit horses he pulled clear with, ultimately shaping best and like a horse with a bit in hand.
Likely to be kept to 6f for now, I am sure he will see out 7f with no worries and I would be disappointed if he can’t win a race or two in the next couple of months, especially as he should strip fitter for the run.
Angle to note:
Ruth Carr’s horses never managed to hit top form last turf season but the yard were off the mark on the grass with the reappearing Embour at Redcar on Monday, and look set for a good season.
As a result of a quiet 2020 campaign, there should be some well-handicapped horses in her care this time around, and I’ll be keeping a close eye on plenty of horses from the yard over the next couple of months, especially once they have a run under their belt.
I usually put up a hot handicap in this section, but I’m going for the Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford last Thursday.
Won by the well-bred and progressive Fundamental who put the race to bed in impressive fashion and looks like a horse well up to making a mark in Pattern company over 7f to 1m, a few of those behind also have potential.
Chief among them is runner-up Qaader, who didn’t build on his placed effort in the Coventry last term but shaped well on his return here, especially with a view to stepping up in trip.
Further down the field, Duty Of Care was never competitive but still looks green and raw but is a good-looking colt and should progress in time, though doesn’t appear to be a horse that does much quickly and galloping tracks will suit best.Add an unlimited number of horses into your Racing TV Tracker and never miss a winner again! Click here for more details.
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