York - Saturday 9th October
NORTHERN - York 3.15 - Sprint Trophy Handicap - 6 furlongs - Soft - 22 run
Another competitive Handicap and the same logic as yesterday, Course form, Going form, Autumn form and a look at the Draw and any pace bias. The ground is drying out a bit but it's Autumn so probably some dew and if anything it may be a bit more dead and sticky than yesterday.
There are obvious dangers like GULLIVER, winner in 2019 and 2020 both though from lowish Draws and I do feel stall 21 will be a handicap on visual evidence of yesterday. Logic says a treble isn't likely but I'm sure we'll see a bold bid. Laugh A Minute has been very well backed, almost to the point of "off the cliff" in my eyes, it is very well handicapped, well drawn probably but I am just not sure it's worth the price it is.
Verhoyen another Irish horse is one I fancy to run a big race here, its not well handicapped with Laugh A Minute but is lightly raced from a canny Yard and only Stall 19 kept him off the investment list. Another being backed is Volatile Analyst who has run well enough in some of the bigger Northern Sprints to have a good chance here, they go for a Hood but the sticky Going just puts me off this 7 furlong Course winner. Air Raid has been off for 110 days, drawn in stall 10 had a wind operation but is best on this type of Autumn ground and he'd definitely be one I'd be watching closely and tracking after today (we've seen a few of these romp in at big prices - Jon).
That leaves me with a short list of 4 and I'll have a Tip and a pair of Trackers and a reserve and play a Tricast Perm.
MAGICAL SPIRIT is drawn in Stall 15, but the winner of the 5 furlong Sprint yesterday for us came out of Stall 12. It was 4th in this race in 2020, soft Going is ideal, Kevin Ryan will have targeted this race I'm sure and looks solid each way value off a nice mark. PUNCHBOWL FLYER is drawn in Stall 3, likes to get on with it and could grab a lead and make them all play catch up. It will come on for recent run after an absence and Eve Johnson-Houghton loves attacking the big meeting handicaps. STRIKE RED looks like a progressive 3 year old and Fahey has had by his outstanding record a rather moderate time in big field races this season. Drawn in Stall 5 it is the one horse in the race who I think has a dangerous amount of scope. I can't leave out a small shrapnel bet on MR LUPTON. Drawn 9, Course and Distance form, rather blew his mark earlier in the season OK on this Going and very well handicapped now off 100.
TIP- MAGICAL SPIRIT / Trackers Punchbowl Flyer + Strike Red (shrapnel / reserve -: Mr Lupton)
YORK - 5.00 Handicap - Class 3 - 1 mile 2 and 1/2 furlongs - Soft - 18 run
A number of scopey Newmarket / bigger yard types head the betting and although big dangers I want to take them on. Of them I think LUCANDER is probably the one to beat!
Of the more exposed types, The Flying Ginger looks very over-priced has Course and Autumn form and if not over the top for the season could outrun odds considerably. Society Red looks very regressive but even a glimmer of a return to form would see it very dangerous at a massive price too.
I'm left with 3 I really liked and will have a full tip on FIRST IMPRESSION. Definitely suited by the likely Going, off a nice mark, has good Autumn form and drawn in 6 should be able to sit up with the early pace and move into contention into the straight and has proven stamina too. BOLLIN JOAN struck me as a horse returning to form last time. A Course winner and has winning form at the trip too. Won off 78 and placed off 85 on Soft Going last Autumn and the only niggle is Stall 20, but I'm sure canny Tim Easterby will have a plan and quietly fancied. The other one I'll have in a Tricast Perm and a bit of loose change is Jean Baptiste, if it's not over th top after a long season does look ideally suited by Conditions here.
TIP - FIRST IMPRESSION / Tracker - Bollin Joan (Tricast and shrapnel / reserve - Jean Baptiste)