Early Bird – 21st July

2:25 Newbury – Coeur De Lion & Sir Chauvelin

Cover my bases a bit by backing two horses, one whose best form has arguably have come over slightly further, but will definitely be finishing well, the other who caught my eye at Ascot when staying on fast and late and wasn’t disgraced in the Northumberland Plate behind a clearly well handicapped and plotted winner. Coeur De Lion is actually 131 over 2m, winning its last race over this distance at Southwell on the a/w in a class 3 handicap off an 8lb lower mark. Was a creditable 6th when last seen at Royal Ascot in the Ascot stakes. Yard continue in fine form whilst the horse proved it handled faster ground. I expect this horse to be running on well at the finish.

Sir Chauvelin ran really well at Royal Ascot to finish 2nd to Dash Of Spice despite not getting a clear passage and weaving its way through. Went from there to the Northumberland plate where again it was running on well but was never catching the winner. Didn’t get the best of runs in the John Smiths Cup when last seen a week ago though that trip is on the short side for it these days. Maybe this distance is the maximum of its stamina but it is in good heart and looks a real good draw in the middle. Hopefully one of the two selections will get the gaps that’s required and go close.

1pt e/w Coeur De Lion @ 12/1 Boylesports 1/4 odds 4 places

0.75pt e/w Sir Chauvelin @ 14/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 5 places

4:45 Newbury – Homeopathic

Really impressed me with the way she picked up at Newmarket to win, having been initially blocked from making her run. Stayed on well when asked and won a little cosily in the end, thus resulting in just a 5lb rise. That was over 7f though I don’t see why she shouldn’t stay an extra furlong with an easier finish. It also gives her a bit more time to find her feet as the change of pace from her wasn’t immediate. Looks like connections have found a good opportunity for her to win again.

2pt win Homeopathic @ 9/4 widely available

3:15 Market Rasen – More Bucks

Very competitive Summer Plate as you can imagine, though I think I have found a good bet in More Bucks. Right handed on good or better ground is important, along with the fact it likes a bit of cover so performs best when there are several competitors. Its form figures going R/H, good or better and fields of 7 or more reads: 133141, finishing outside the places only once and that was when possibly outclassed at Kempton at the Boxing Day meeting. Has changed yards which saw a return to form, beating a subsequent winner by 21 lengths at Perth. Not been hit too hard by the handicapper, it is still on a mark well below what it gained when with Paul Nicholls. With the yard in good nick it looks a nice e/w bet.

1pt e/w More Bucks @ 9/1 1/5th odds first 4 Skybet, WillHill, Paddy and Boylesports