Turf Talk: Focus on Nottingham

Tim Boulter
Tim Boulter

WITH all the build up to Longchamp last weekend it was in the end a bit of an anti climax for me.

Rain mutilated the conditions and some of the racing was well below par for what you usually expect at Longchamp, particularly the older horse races. On a positive note though Mince and Olympic Glory fired in for the column. Olympic Glory has done well for us over the season and I hope he trains on into next season as he has so much ability and could be a high class three year old. He reminds me a bit of Paco Boy but he has the potential to be better and he looks exciting for next season.

Today we look ahead to meetings at Nottingham and Kempton.

4.00 Nottingham

Oddysey looks to hold a big chance returning to the scene of her latest outing just one week ago. She ran into a couple of well handicapped and progressive types in Lahaag of the John Gosden yard and Border Legend from the Roger Charlton stable. Despite that she ran a fine race, held up out the back she was always going to face a big task of swooping from rear to catch the pair that finished ahead of her but she closed her race out well firmly taking the third spot a length clear of Dixies Dream and in turn well ahead of the rest. She was only beaten around two lengths in total and that form looks very strong with the front pair sure to leave their current handicap marks well behind them in the future. It is a minimal steps up in trip and it should hold no fear. She is out of a Darshaan mare and though she was unraced her dam, Oddysey’s grand dam was a group class mare that got nine furlongs. Conditions will suit her and with the recent form looking very strong I would be disappointed if she did not win.

4.30 Nottingham

In what is a rather dubious contest with plenty of horses who you would rather duck given their current form it is hard not to expect the John Godsen trained Sunpass to come out on top in this contest. Epsom form can often be best kept to Epsom, but this horse looks like he has a lot more to give yet regardless of the track having got better with every run this season which culminated up to this point in a demolition job last time out. He cruised through the race off the pace and made effortless headway in the home straight and when he took it up down to two out he just powered away from them. It was not a good maiden in honesty but his rating of 72 looks a fair bit short on that evidence and against this field of generally exposed and regressive handicappers with his profile only going one way he looks to have a great chance at the bottom of the handicap. John Gosden has won this race in recent years with a couple of horses that proved to be very well handicapped in Oriental Cat and more notably Expresso Star who went on to be group class. In his yard of talent there is always a chance there is a horse that has slipped under the handicappers radar and this looks like one of them.

Kempton 7.30

A good sized field handicap at Kempton with a likely strong pace? Sounds just like the type of race that should suit Chapter And Verse. He has been disappointing on his last two starts and gone a bit absent but it is only two runs ago when he last won here over course and distance in a better handicap than this and only three pounds higher in the handicap he is still on a good mark. On that last victory here he ran his typical race, settled in to the rear off a good pace he steadily cut his way through horses before hitting the front inside the final furlong and putting the race to bed. We need him to bounce back to form but he does not run too many bad races here and if he is back on his game then he will be on the scene in the finish.

4.00 – Oddysey (nb)

4.30 – Sunpass (nap)

7.30 – Chapter And Verse