Eyecatching hurdling debut at Bangor
Market Rasen 12:30: Kihavah 0.5pt e/w 22/1
Kihavah showed some ability in three runs on the flat for Ken Condon and he caught the eye on hurdling debut at Bangor when finishing sixth behind Washington.
He set off detached under restraint at the back of the field and his jumping wasn’t convincing early on. He started to make a little headway after the first hurdle on the final circuit and was still travelling well at 3 out, albeit some way off the leaders. He was briefly bumped along entering the home straight but was mainly held together after that and finished 23 lengths behind the winner in sixth.
I’m hoping that they won’t be looking to give away so much ground early in the race today as doing that at Bangor left him with a huge amount to do and Kihavah shaped well in the circumstances. It may be that he’s a slightly tricky ride but I think he has ability based on that run and any 20/1 or bigger appeals.
Showed promise on only run in Irish point
Clonmel 12:45: Soloman Lane 1pt win 33/1
Soloman Lane returns to the track after nearly a year off since his debut but if he can build on the promise he showed that day then I think he can be more competitive than the market suggests on his rules debut.
His debut came in a maiden point at Boulta. Having raced in midfield, he made headway to go into third at 3 out and was pushed along after to go in chase of the two leaders. In doing so, he pulled a long way clear of the rest and he was in touch with the leading pair at 2 out when he jumped the fence cleanly but crumpled on landing and fell.
The winner of that race was Paddy The Horse who has since finished a close third in a novice hurdle. The other horse who came down at 2 out was Young Fitzy who is now rated 109 over hurdles while the well beaten fourth and sixth are now rated 128 and 120 over hurdles respectively.
The level of ability that Soloman Lane showed that day suggests he could be competitive in a race of this quality. There is a concern that he may need the run after his absence or that he may need a bit further to show his best but he looks overpriced with any 20/1 or bigger appealing.
Prominent racing style will help at this track
Sedgefield 14:17: Charle Brune 1pt win 7/1
Charle Brune’s rating has been on the slide since moving from Ireland to join Neil Mechie but his run two starts ago at Uttoxeter was more encouraging and suggests that he can run well today.
He was ridden far handier that day than on his previous three starts in Britain and the hood came off. He approached the first in the leading line but made a mistake and tracked the leaders after that. He was still travelling well entering the home straight just behind the leader before coming under pressure after 3 out. He couldn’t quicken with the leaders but stayed on well late on to finish third.
The winner of that race, Orchard Grove, has won again since off a 7lb higher mark and is now rated a stone higher than he was that day while the runner up has won both starts since and is now rated 8lb higher.
Charle Brune has run once since over fences at Market Rasen where he went with Rafferty early on before coming down at the seventh fence.
He is now back over hurdles and races off a 3lb lower mark than he did when finishing third at Uttoxeter. He is also likely to be favourably positioned in this race if they ride him prominently again as Alright Marlene looks the only other likely challenger for the lead early on and she’s coming back down in trip so this might be sharper than ideal for her. Any 5/1 or bigger appeals.
Ran well for a long way in much stronger company last time
Clonmel 14:55: Sunnyvilla 1pt win 20/1
Sunnyvilla showed some promise in Irish points when looking in need of a sharper test and after showing little on his first two starts under rules over 2m1f and 2m, he showed promise on his latest start in a beginners chase at Gowran.
He raced a bit keenly in midfield early on before making some headway to be in fourth with a circuit to go. He was still in fourth jumping 4 out and was pushed along to stay in touch on the long run to 3 out before swiftly dropping away in the home straight.
Sunnyvilla was up against the likes of Cedarwood Road and the talented but frustrating Antey that day and he did well to stay in touch for as long as he did against such opposition.
This is a far more suitable level for him and I think an opening mark of 87 could underrate his ability given the promise he showed in points and at Gowran that day.
It might be that he’s just a weak finisher over any trip and will drop away late on again or that he may race too keenly on his return after a break but this is a very weak contest and any 14/1 or bigger appeals.
Return to artificial surface to suit
Chelmsford 18:00: Closing Bell 1pt e/w 14/1
Closing Bell finished behind Nizaaka and Saleymm last time at Redcar but I think she has a better chance of reversing those placings than the market suggests on her return to an artificial surface.
At Redcar, she initially raced in midfield but was tightened up on the rail just as the pace started to quicken and lost her place slightly. She was travelling well with just over two furlongs to go but had no room and then once pushed along she became a bit unbalanced. She wasn’t given a hard time after and finished in fifth, 3¾ lengths behind Nizaaka and 1¾ lengths behind Saleymm.
Given that quite a bit went wrong for her at Redcar, I think Closing Bell’s performance can be marked up and she is likely to enjoy a return to an artificial surface having run well on debut at Kempton. Physically she also looks the type to improve with time so while that may come in full next season, I think there could be more to come from her today. Any 8/1 or bigger appeals.