Racing TV is the place to watch all the racing on Monday afternoon with coverage from Hamilton, Leicester and Fairyhouse in the afternoon followed by an evening card at Kempton meaning there’s a busy day ahead.
Ground conditions were easing by the minute for much of the card at Hamilton on Sunday and it looks likely to be hard work for the runners provided the meeting passes a morning inspection.
I’m hoping the testing conditions play to the strengths of a couple of selections on that card, while I’ve also got one fancy at Leicester and Kempton.
Tim Easterby has his team in fine form and with that in mind it could be worth taking a chance on Shortbackandsides getting back on track.
He’s struggled for form this season but his one standout effort came on the only occasion he encountered testing ground and a return to deep underfoot conditions could revive him.
Fairly consistent for much of last season, he was a winner off a 3lb higher mark when scoring at Ripon last August and that run plus several other prices of form, including the Haydock run on testing ground in June, suggest he’s on a fair mark should things click.
Having won at Brighton in early August, Black Kalanisi ran an excellent race to finish second at York last time behind the thriving Shamad, who has since brought up the hat-trick by winning again at Ayr on Saturday.
Black Kalanisi did his best work at the finish in those races, shaping like a horse who would benefit from a step up in trip, while his previous winning form in a bumper over 2m and over hurdles at 2m4f also suggests an increased stamina test will suit.
So although he is kept at the same trip, it’s hoped this stiffer track and more testing ground will tap into his stamina reserves and play to his advantage more than most. The good form of his stable is another positive.
Garth Rockett returned to form off a falling handicap mark when second at Yarmouth last time and if building on that effort after a 39-day break has strong claims.
The form of that Yarmouth run has stood up well. The winner followed up next time while the third has won both subsequent outings, suggesting a 1lb rise for Mike Murphy’s charge is fair.
Old form also gives him a strong handicapping chance as he’s 7lb lower than for his last win and his draw in stall 2 looks an advantage.
Almokhtaar has not lived up to his smart pedigree but looks interesting on his first start for Kevin Ryan.
Previously trained by Owen Burrows, the son of War Front showed a glimmer of promise from a tough draw on his debut here last year but has struggled to progress.
However, his stable was quiet in the early part of the season, which could excuse his lack of progress from that first run. The drop in trip and application of blinkers may also spark improvement.
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