Our website tipster Dave Nevison thinks three contenders are primed for big runs on Friday's Flat cards from Pontefreact and Haydock. Enjoy further action from Carlisle, Fairyhouse and Stratford live on Racing TV and Racing TV Extra.
Irv has kept his place in my Racing TV Tracker after he (thankfully) managed to grab fifth in a big-field handicap last time and I’m sticking with him here. He is obviously back in form and the breaks are going to come for him soon.
Irv was well backed at big prices before his reappearance over course and distance, signalling that the handicapper had relented enough and that a return to form was imminent. He got into a bit of trouble in running and the gaps just didn’t come, but his jockey couldn’t be blamed and I am happy that Micky Hammond is sticking with this claimer who deserves a chance to win on this horse.
Irv was forced very wide from an outside draw last time and was staying on well at the finish. That was in a more competitive event than this.
Highfield Princess has a couple of younger fillies from big Newmarket stables to beat, but I am happy to stick with her. She came up against a plunge horse in Boardman last time at York, but she still ran really well in a race I like the look of as a source of future winners.
That effort two weeks ago was her first run of the season and she is entitled to come on a bit for it, while it could well be that Highfield Princess will improve again this term. John Quinn felt she was worth a try in Listed company last season, and though that may have been a little premature it might be realistic later this season if she can beat these blue bloods.
Highfield Princess looks certain to get an uncontested lead here which will help her cause, and a good run looks assured given the form of the stable.
It hasn’t worked out for me with Swaffham Bulbeck from this yard, but Cormier is another horse from the Brian Ellison stable to have improved significantly over hurdles – and it actually looks as though he could still be well in on his turf form from the end of last season, where he was a big improver.
After wins off a plater’s mark - significantly on soft ground which clearly suits him well – Cormier went to the Western Meeting at Ayr and probably should have won again but bumped into former Ebor winner Nakeeta on a going day and didn’t have the best of runs.
He has won two novice hurdles since and ran an excellent second in the Swinton Hurdle on soft ground last ground. Surely he is just improved all round and, if so, he will beat these.
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