On Saturday there were good performances from Muscika (2nd at Haydock), Completion (2nd at Haydock) and Final Venture (3rd at York). Dark Pearl ran better than his final position suggests at Chester. Unfortunately none of them gave us a return.
4.10 – Redcar:
Titus. 2 pts win. Available at 13/2.
Speed Company. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 14/1. (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 4)
As you would expect for the prize money on offer, The Zetalnd Gold Cup has attractive a field of quality handicappers. Leader’s Legacy, Abreeq and Restorer come here on the back of victories and topweight, Big Country, was one of the success stories of last season, proving himself to be both tough and progressive. He may still have more to give back on better ground after disappointing on soft going in the Lincoln. However he is going to find things tougher in handicaps from his current mark of 103 and he will be vulnerable to those further down the weights who have yet to show anywhere near their full hand in some races. There aren’t many present here that those comments could be applied to so he is highly respected, despite the steadier of ten stone. Titus, however, is one who may have his best days ahead of him. He showed ability for Dermot Weld, including beating Venice Beach in a Maiden on his debut, before being sold to current connections in November. After being well beaten on his reappearance in the Spring Mile at Doncaster he ran out the winner of a Novice race at Wetherby earlier this month. Back in handicap company he travelled well into the latter stages before fading into third over an extended ten furlongs at York. That came from today’s mark and there could be more to come from him dropped slightly back in distance. He is very unexposed, well bred and has plenty of physical scope. Speed Company was badly drawn on the back of a four month break when beaten at Chester last time out and should be seen in a better light here. His form book has a very uneven look to it but he has won five of his twenty starts on turf and he is a very decent horse on his day. He has proved himself in very competitive races from today’s sort of mark and, although none of his victories have come in double figure fields, he wasn’t beaten far into fifth in a twenty runner handicap at York from a five pound higher in theweights last August.
4.40 – Leicester:
Arsenio Lupin. 1.5 pts win. Available at 8/1. (Sportingbet)
Sir Plato. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 28/1.
Jumira Prince could prove very progressive this season and he kicked off by winning on his reappearance at Doncaster in April. The ease in the ground will suit him and it’s difficult to find in any chinks in his armour. However there are plenty of useful performers in opposition and some of those appeal more at the relevant prices. Arsenio Lupin hasn’t yet produced the level of form that some of his opposition have but he has run well in his two starts since wind surgery this season and he is unexposed on turf, making just his fourth start on the surface. He showed plenty of ability on it when just missing out at Nottingham on his reappearance last season and, after disappointing on soft ground at Windsor a month later, he pulled his chances away at Newmarket in July. He returns to grass with the ground drying out, which will suit, and his mark of 81 looks feasible. The yard have a profitable 2 from 7 record here in recent seasons and send just the one to the races today. The booking of Oisin Murphy, who has ridden just once for the yard (finishing 2nd), takes the eye. Sir Plato has been well beaten in all three starts this season but there has been a hint of promise in the last two and he is now five pounds below the mark from which he was a winner last season. If he returns to form he is more than capable of getting competitive with these. He handles ground from G/F through to G/S and he has won four of his fifteen starts on turf.
4.45 – Redcar – Armandihan. 2.75 pts win. Available at 5/1. (888Sport)
5.20 – Redcar – Silver Gleam. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1.
5.55 – Windsor:
Glory Of Paris. 1.75 pts win. Available at 7/1.
Six Strings. 1.5 pts win. Available at 9/1.