Saturday was disappointing. Carlos De Fruitier was going well when falling at Haydock and Speedo Boy was fourth at Ascot with C’est No Mournoted making late headway in the same race. Via Serendipity returned place money, also at Ascot. Our other selections were disappointing.
4.10 – Catterick:
Adrakahan. 1.5 pts win. Available at 9/1.
Itlaaq. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1.
Italian Riviera is one of only three runners in this field that have won over two miles or further on the flat and he is understandably popular in the early markets. He is likely to run well but he makes little appeal at around 3/1 or less. Some of these, including Ice Galley, haven’t truly proven their stamina so preference is for two at bigger prices who have no trip concerns. Adrakhan and Itlaaq are the two other horses to have registered victories over today’s distance and they look worth chancing. Adrakhan was well beaten on his reappearance but that may have been needed and he is on the mark from which he produced his best two performances last season. One of those came over C/D in October where he finished well to get within a length and a half of the winner. He is not a frequent winner but he has proved he is capable under today’s conditions and in this grade. Itlaaq is well into veteran status at twelve years old, and his ageing limbs may need this reappearance after a three month break, but he is temptingly weighted nowadays. His last four starts have been on the A/W and he has been placed in two of his three starts this year. He now returns to turf on a six pound lower mark than when last seen on it at Doncaster last October. He was just under five lengths third of the nine runners in a better race than this over ten furlongs, a trip arguably much shorter than ideal nowadays. The last time he was seen over two miles was back in the Autumn of 2016 where he wasn’t disgraced from marks in the low 80’s. He’s obviously not as good as that now but this is his first excursion into this grade and he was showing enough when last seen on turf to suggest he still retains enough ability to get competitive.
4.40 – Catterick – Extrasolar. 2.5 pts win. Available at 5/1.
Meshardal goes well here and he is likely to get the strong pace he needs to be seen at his best. However he is not well weighted with Extrasolar on a few pieces of form and he will also be suited by a strong gallop. He has dropped a long way in the weights since he has joined his current yard but he had placed form here from much higher marks as recently as twelve months ago to make him of interest. He is now on a career low mark and, although beaten seven and half lengths when finishing tenth of fifteen on his reappearance, he travelled very well through the race and wasn’t given a hard time when the gaps didn’t appear. The yard had a big priced winner at Nottingham on Saturday and the booking of David Allan, who has a very profitable 13% strike rate at the track, is a positive.
5.10 – Catterick – Merry Banter. 2.5 pts win. Available at 5/1.
6.20 – Windsor – Open Wide. 2 pts win. Available at 6/1.