IT WAS a nearly day for me on Saturday with Swincombe Flame, Medermit and Bobs Worth all failing to win but running well.
I fully expect them all to perform with credit come the Cheltenham Festival where the likelihood is they’ll run in the Coral Cup, Ryanair Chase and RSA Chase’s respectively.
Cheltenham is still three weeks away, though so, in the meantime, we’ll attempt to find some winners this Wednesday (22nd Feb), with racing at Ludlow, Doncaster and Lingfield.
Starting at Lingfield, RIO ROYALE is worth taking a chance on in the 3.55, and should be a good price to boot. The Amanda Perrett gelding has put in two runs this year that were better than the bare forms reads. A three lengths sixth placing and a seven length ninth may look poor, but reasons can be found. His first run was when returning from a break and the ‘bounce’ factor possibly accounted for the second run. Down two pound in the handicap, against very exposed horses, a very good seven pound claimer in Luke Rowe on board (he has a record of 3-13 at Lingfield) Rio Royale may make amends here.
The Andrew Balding yard have a good record when dropping maidens into handicaps and the filly SEA ANEMONE can build on this further in the 5.00. She has run well in two claimers, firstly at Lingfield, over course and distance, losing by a length, and a fifth at Kempton, when she tired when tried over a mile. The drop back down to seven furlongs should suit and she may be thrown in off her current mark of 55.
The way BRAMSHILL LASS won her maiden over course and distance last month, gives her a terrific chance in the 2.50, a class five handicap over 10 furlongs. The filly made a pleasing reappearance in January running third in a maiden over a mile, before beating two very good horses in Cotton Trader and subsequent winner Three Bards in that maiden. She stayed on well, collaring the odds on favourite late on under a powerful Jim Crowley ride. She could do even better now she’s been sent handicapping and has to be respected here against more exposed rivals.
EAGLE ROCK has been exceptionally unlucky to run into three very good sorts in Countrywide Flame, Kaolak and Royal Bonsai in three novice hurdles, finishing a good second on all three starts. The runs behind Royal Bonsai and Countrywide Flame in particular looked promising. No one rides Doncaster better than James Reveley and although the Henderson and King yard are represented with good sorts, he should go close.
1.55 (Doncaster) Eagle Rock
2.50 (Lingfield) Bramshill Lass
3.55 (Lingfield) Rio Royale
5.00 (Lingfield) Sea Anemone