The Racing TV cameras will be in Ireland and Scotland on Monday for a decent blend of Jumps’ and Flat action.
There are 154 runners to study and my focus is on the action at Hamilton, where 23 horses who boast winning form at the track will be in action.
It will be a surprise if at least one that squad does not chalk up another course victory. My four fancies start with:
2.00 Hamilton: Le Chiffre at 11-4 with bet365
Le Chiffre began the season with successive wins at Beverley and here, winning in commanding style on the latter occasion when looking suited by the demands of the track.
He’s failed to add to that tally in three subsequent outings but he’s been running creditably, albeit again letting down favourite backers at Musselburgh last time when tried in cheekpieces.
I’m not surprised the headgear is quickly dispensed with – there doesn’t seem anything wrong his application – and fancy he will enjoy the stiffer test that this course presents.
I’ll be backing him to beat Granite City Doc, a reliable sort who is something of a standing dish at Hamilton.
2.30 Hamilton: Star Of Valour at 11-1 with William Hill
Ayr Poet boasts form figures of 2211 at Hamilton this year and, predictably, heads the market after his emphatic win at the track last week. He is likely to take some stopping but the drying ground and his wide draw are niggles.
I’d rather back Star Of Valour each-way at double-figure odds.
He’s thrived since being switched to Lynn Siddall last summer and as a consequence is 17lb higher in the ratings than when touched off here 13 months ago.
However, he’s only 3lb higher than when winning at Haydock in July and a mile on good ground is ideal. Usually held up, he will want a decent pace to aim at and a decent gallop is on the cards.
3.00 Hamilton: Donnachies Girl at 6-1 with bet365
Plenty of runners but few make any appeal and I’m surprised Donnachies Girl is not trading at much shorter odds.
Already a three-time course winner, she’s been a model of consistency this year without quite manging to get her head in front.
She give it another good go here last time when a close third in a 0-80 and, dropped back into a 0-70, this represents an easier assignment.
Donnachies Girl is versatile regards trip and ground, plus will have the assistance of Ben Curtis for the first time. The opposition lacks depth and this looks a good opportunity for her to gain a deserved success.
3.30 Hamilton: Mina Velour at a general 3-1
Julie Camacho’s horses seem to have been running well all year and Mina Velor looks capable of giving her another success.
Unraced at two, she remains lightly raced and was having only her second start for the yard when a good third at Thirsk last time (Kindly well adrift) when trying to pounce from off the pace in a race where it paid to be handy.
Her solid spins under Graham Lee at Carlisle last year suggests this track will play to her strengths and Lee is reunited with her for the first time in 13 months.
Zim Baby was unlucky in-running at Pontefract last time and may pose a bigger threat than Never In Paris, who looked to have a hard race when third in the Bronze Cup at Ayr.
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