Rene Mathis 1/2 point EW 25/1
Lulu The Zulu 1/2 win 14/1
Jallota 1/2 win 12/1
There are a few stats of interest…
5/18 were drawn 1 or 2
12/18 Top 6 LTO
17/18 20/1 or shorter SP
18/18 had raced 2-6 times this season
9/18 ran at Ascot LTO
A mixture of those would leave a rather long shortlist.
I backed Rene Mathis last time at Ascot and I want to give him another chance for a few reasons. Firstly he is 2/4, 3 places at the July course, the trainer is 2/9 in the race and the booking of Hanagan for this yard always catches the eye. The ground was properly firm last time out. Graham Lee was on another of my selections, You’re Fired in that (who races at York earlier in the day) and he said he would have withdrawn the horse at the start if he could have got hold of the trainer because of how firm it was and his horse hated it. RMs best form is on good or softer but he has placed on this surface enough times and he has ran well in a few big races. He looks like a horse without a trip – not quick enough near the end of a 6f race and looking outstayed over 7f – maybe this July course (downhill, then a stiff finish) is perfect for him. Anyway, at the odds, with 4 places, given all the above I want to give him another chance.
Jallota won last time out and could come on from that for his bang in form yard. He draw in 2 was interesting given the stats and he should give it a good go up the near side rail. Hopefully he isn’t far away. He is still at the unexposed end.
Lulu The Zulu is an interesting one who has been running well and seems to have taken a step forward this season, running well in C2 contests. Horses that ran at Newcastle last time out have won 3 times here in the last 18 years. He has been consistent and looked interesting to me at the odds.
Well you could make a case for most of the field here, it is very competitive as you would expect. Chill The Kite has to be on any shortlist given Moore was booked and his great run last time – whether 7f on this course is ideal I am not sure, but he will be staying on near the end. Heavens Guest loves it here and as a previous winner cant be easily dismissed. Bronze Angel ran prominently last time and I suspect he may try and make all up the far rail, he did weaken at Ascot and that was just enough to put me off, he is still 2lb above his highest winning mark when claims are considered. There are many more with chances too and in truth I couldn’t put you off many!
This is tough but I don’t mind throwing a couple of points at a few that are a decent price and hopefully we get a run for our money.
A quick word on Race 1, 2pm. Stoute and Durcan are 3/5 when teaming up in handicaps at Newmarket (both tracks I think) and I have had a small EW nibble on Quick Defence at 8/1. He ran a cracker at Ascot on the near side and that stat caught my eye, in a race where every horse is open to some sort of improvement still.