Tom Thurgood nominates three contenders who can make a winning start to a new week on Racing TV, with live action coming from Ayr, Cartmel, Ballinrobe and Beverley. Enjoy dedicated coverage from each of Monday’s venues via our dedicated Racing TV Extra service.
This is a trappy small-field handicap but, while Shelir perhaps doesn’t win as many races as he should, he’s a solid mid-90s performer and must go close in this £30,000 feature contest.
From two starts over course and distance, he has beaten a length and a quarter and a short head and he has the bonus of stall 1 right on the rail this time, ideally placed for the quick turn into the long straight.
A mile and quick ground are his optimum conditions and he was a bit unlucky last time, taking a bit of a grip in the early stages and making his challenge a little bit wider in the straight than the rest at this track. He looked the likeliest winner in the final half furlong but, while beaten, was back in front of his conqueror a few yards past the line.
Tinker Toy is well-bred but has to bounce back from a below-par run up in class last time and his rating of 97 could be a tad high based on collateral form, Vintager has taken a decent hike in the ratings and Nicholas T and Volatile Analyst have questions to answer about this one-mile trip.
He’s a short price on paper and the draw could have been a bit kinder, but that’s seemingly where the negatives end for this lightly-raced four-year-old against more exposed rivals who have mostly been in indifferent form this season.
Phoenix Cowboy opened his account last time and is entitled to come on for that reappearance now, while his experience of the tight undulations of this idiosyncratic track on that occasion is another factor in his favour.
That was a good performance and he quickened nicely in the closing stages to beat My Mate Mozzie, an expensive purchase and wide-margin winner at the Punchestown Festival who rates a smart jumps prospect for Gavin Cromwell. The two finished well clear of Dewcup – a horse who wants further than a mile and half but nevertheless a solid performer.
Phoenix Cowboy has more to offer and has a very feasible rating of 78 on this handicap debut – and in a race which looks very winnable. He will go off shorter than the current even money on offer.
The three-year-olds look the most favoured at the weights in this small-field handicap and Companionship gets the nod now stepping back up to 10 furlongs.
She didn’t shape too badly at all on handicap debut last time, getting a bump at the start and patently starting to feel the pinch fully three furlongs from home. However, she stuck to her task nicely when she could have gone backwards and made nice late ground on the July Course. She remains on the same handicap mark of 81.
Companionship is certainly bred to be better than that rating as a Galileo filly out of Australia Group One winner Sweet Idea and William Haggas started her campaign in Listed company at Newbury, suggesting that the trainer also thinks she’s better than this mark.
Companionship has a bit more to offer in a race that looks fairly thin on serious rivals and the first-time cheekpieces could additionally eke out a little more improvement. There’s a little bit of mileage in 9/4 quotes.Get your FREE Racing TV Swim Shorts! Click here for more details.
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