Another absolute cracker of a weekend for racing fans featuring a massively-competitive Dewhurst stakes, for those looking to find next year’s Guineas winner. Joseph O'Brien's Thunder Moon must be towards the head of any shortlist for that race and I am siding with a couple of other Irish raiders to plunder the big staying handicaps at York and Newmarket.
Evidently in deep here, this Tim Easterby-trained handicapper isup against some progressive types who have charged up the weights on the back of strong winning efforts. However he excels on very soft ground and is now 9lb lower than his latest win of last season.
This season has been a write-off but there were clear signs last time that he was about to hit form again. He stayed on very well at Chester and in a more competitive field, hopefully he can again show his true colours at a track where he has run very well at in the past without winning - including in last season’s John Smith's Cup.
After a spectacular season in 2019, it was widely expected that this sprinter would at the very least figure in the very best handicaps in the calendar and possibly go even higher.
It certainly hasn’t worked out so far, but the signs were more positive last time when although just ninth in the Ayr Gold Cup, he produced definitely his best run in 2020 and one that suggested he may be coming to hand again.
Look out for Bielsa in the red cap, racing almost alone towards the stands' rail
He led the group on the disadvantaged side of the track and his performance could justifiably be upgraded on that basis. A winner in very good style at Doncaster last October in conditions very similar to these, he is now just 4lb higher having come down in the weights. Kevin Ryan's team remain in good form.
Proved a big damp squib in this last year having gone off at 7/1 only to never really figure in the race, ending up finishing a respectable, if unimpressive tenth.
However it appears she was just in a bit of a lull around that time and she disappointed in a couple of jumps runs afterwards as well.
This mare definitely had her mojo back the last time we saw her, when she won a good handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival in impressive style. She has been rested since that win and I am seeing that as a positive as I really don’t think a trainer like Willie Mullins would miss out on a prep-race if he felt she needed one.
Being a couple of pounds lower than last year can't do any harm either, though I believe she was well enough handicapped there too given how well she was backed. She simply wasn't on her game, but hopefully fresh and well this time, she can make amends and give her a stable a remarkable hat-trick of wins in one of the most competitive handicaps of the whole season.
Great White Shark went into plenty of notebooks with this latest Flat run
A horse that has raised more than a few eyebrows throughout his career, having begun his career from a very lowly rating, which was exploited with a series of rapidfire runs and wins.
He has done the job with great success over fences and over hurdles recently and it will be a huge surprise if he cannot do it just as well on the Flat given the mark he can run off when compared to a 140-plus mark over jumps. He was referred to the stewards after an eyecatching performance at Limerick recently and then came up against an improver last time out but he is up against a very exposed field here as most of the progressive two-milers are all down the A1 in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. Conditions look ideal and I expect there to be plenty of money for him here.We've teamed up with the National Hunt experts at Timeform to bring you a FREE copy of their latest book - 50 Jumps Horses to Follow throughout the 2020/21 season. Simply join and deposit with one of our 10 betting partners below and we'll send you a FREE copy. Click here for more details.
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