By Chris Dixon
I’m on duty for Racing UK at Market Rasen on Sunday afternoon and with nothing leaping straight off the page on the card at Ffos Las, I’ve focussed my attentions on the action in Lincolnshire and can hopefully highlight a winner or two from the three selections.
Dan Skelton is set for a busy afternoon with six runners on the card and three of them take their place in this 2m handicap hurdle.
Solomon Grey looks the stable pick on jockey bookings as Harry Skelton takes the ride. Having twice finished in the frame behind If The Cap Fits (fourth favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) Solomon Grey was an easy 11-length winner from Knockanuss at Plumpton in between those two runs and is proving a consistent type.
The form of that success was boosted by the runner-up going in off 124 on his next start while the form and time of his latest Sandown effort suggest he’s nicely enough treated off a mark of 130.
The switch to a slightly softer surface than for his last two outings could be a positive too as he looks a shade one-paced and his sire Sulumani has a better strike rate with his runners on testing ground than he does on a sounder surface.
Another of the Dan Skelton contingent at Market Rasen this afternoon is Must Havea Flutter, who shaped with encouragement on his chase debut at Leicester last time.
Jumping well in the main, Must Havea Flutter was slightly outpaced at a crucial point of the contest that day but wasn’t given a hard time from approaching the second last and kept on nicely for hands and heels pressure.
That race was won by the well-handicapped Not Another Muddle and with the second, third and fifth all coming out to win on their next start, the form is proving very strong.
Down in grade against mainly more exposed rivals today, Must Havea Flutter looks fairly treated following a 3lb drop in the weights to a mark of 105 and will be well served by this longer trip.
Midnight Merlot is another of the unexposed ones in the field and made a good start over fences against higher rated horses in a novice last time and is worth a saver.
Michael Scudamore has his horses in good form and class-dropper Dawnieriver looks worth supporting to provide the yard with a winner here.
Back down at this level of handicap for the first time since landing the first two legs of a hat-trick in 2016, Dawnieriver should find this race much less competitive than recent assignments and is now 7lb lower than her last winning mark.
Although well enough held in fourth at Doncaster last time, I thought she went through much of that race like a mare who was back in decent form.
Most of her form has been on better ground but encouragingly for today that Doncaster run was on a soft surface and today’s conditions don’t appear to hold any serious problem to her.
The return of the cheekpieces that have been worn for all four previous wins could easily be taken as another positive while connections have opted to ease the burden of 12st 7lb by booking 7lbs conditional Robert Hawker for the ride.
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