I am writing this from Dubai with half an eye on declarations given we are back to 24 hour declarations for the jumps.
I’d love it if they went to 48 hours as we have on the flat, though I’m not sure owners and trainers would necessarily say the same with the changeable winter weather.
Makes his handicap debut off a rating of 114 and I like he’s had a go this season.
That came at Stratford a month ago when a little keen and held up off a modest pace set by the winner.
He had every chance and looked the winner at the last but tired late on. He’s gone well here before but just looks the type to do better in the heat of a handicap and his mark looks workable.
Hopefully the Dan Skelton yard will continue in good form because I like the chance of this nine-year-old.
Lightly raced for this yard, he won over course and distance for them in May on his second start after a break.
They ran him back under a penalty in June but he didn’t seem to see out the extra couple of furlongs.
He’s going up the weights but may just have needed his reappearance two weeks ago and hopefully that will have put him spot on for this.
There are some younger horses in here who I’m tempted to back including Trevithick and Black Isle Boy but this eight-year-old mare loves it here and has fewer questions to answer than most.
First and second in two renewals of this race, she should get things run to suit and I like her draw in amongst horses.
She is three pounds lower than her second last year and, having had a run over an inadequate seven furlongs last time, I’d imagine this has been the plan.
Two fillies in this race are of interest, but both have slight question marks over them.
I’m sure Island Of Life is better than we’ve seen and this trip may be exactly what she needs.
The bigger play though is three-year-old Play Mate who makes her handicap debut off a rating of 70.
That’s not necessarily lenient based upon her modest debut form but she ran green that day and took a big step forward on second start when beating the 85 rated Indian Tygress.
She was getting weight that day but won with a bit to spare. Seven furlongs looked logical given how she saw that out, but she seemed to get tired last time and dropping back to six is sensible.
She looked a little awkward under pressure too so first time cheekpieces are no negative.