Richard Hoiles's tips: Strawberry looks sweet at Nottingham

By Richard Hoiles@RichardHoiles
Mon 6 Aug 2018

Richard Hoiles tipped two winners last week at 9-2 and 11-4 and also recommended a 9-1 chance each-way that finished second. Get our man's selection for Tuesday's action below.

The old moniker of ‘Glorious Goodwood’ may have been usurped by the ‘Qatar Goodwood Festival’ but the old title could not have been more appropriate last week with the Sussex Downs basking in sunshine for all of the five days.

The views across the Sussex Downs from the front and the Solent from the back of the stands were the perfect backdrops to a week that was lit up by Battaash’s demolition of the field in the King George Qatar Stakes on the Friday.

Too often he has frittered away energy in the preliminaries which has compromised his ability to show himself off to full effect but just like in the Abbaye last season he put it all together to comfortably produce the performance of the week.

An honourable mention must also go to Lightning Spear, whose persistence finally gained its Group One reward with a victory in the Sussex Stakes. His ability to quicken and comfort on the track were key, whilst Lord Glitters marked himself down as a QEII contender later in the season when softer ground and a stronger pace would suit better. It is a division, Alpha Centauri apart, that looks weak this year.

Physically I am not sure I have ever seen a more imposing juvenile at this stage of the season than Dark Vision, whose barnstorming run in the Vintage Stakes left a lasting impression. He does not have a great action and there is always the danger such horses can suddenly go weak as they fill out their frame but he looks really well bought at £15k and connections would be well advised to cash in if a stellar offer appears.

Which leads on to the puzzle of the week. At the Goffs ‘Boutique’ (or ‘get carried away and overpay’) Sale on Wednesday evening in the Goodwood winner’s enclosure Marie’s Diamond was led out unsold at £675,000 for failing to meet his reserve.

Having originally cost €35,000 and already had six starts this seemed the height of optimism in terms of valuation and even a very creditable second in the Richmond the following day could not shake the view that it may be a decision rued further down the line.

My selections for Tuesday kick off with:

3.10 Catterick – Casima at 100-30 with Betfair, BetVictor and Sky Bet:

A return to less aggressive tactics can see her settle better with both Stormin Tom and Be Perfect usually happy to be close to the pace.

Generally the weight for age allowance at this stage of the season is more favourable to the three-year-olds the greater the trip, so that also counts in her favour.

4.45 Catterick – Final Choice at 11-4 with Bet365:

The usual benchmark off adding 40 to a Flat handicap mark for an equivalent jumps one makes Final Choice look well in off 60 (Hurdles 120). This looked to be confirmed by a Chelmsford second where a tardy break got him on the backfoot early.

Improved over hurdles since the majority of his Flat runs he looks as if he can take advantage here.

5.00 Newbury – Konigin at 5-1 with Bet365, Betfair, William Hill:

A rather typical Luca Cumani handicap project, the daughter of dual French Classic winner Shamardal looked badly in need of the experience in her first two runs.

They were before an improved effort last time and now stepped up to a trip more in keeping with his pedigree, expect her to improve for a while yet.

5.50 Nottingham – Strawberry Jack at 13-8 with Sky Bet:

George Scott’s horses are in good nick and stepped up to a mile Strawberry Jack may hold a class advantage over the rest of this field. The booking of Silvestre De Sousa also looks a positive.

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