Two of our selections were non runners yesterday due to the abandonment of Chepstow after a couple of races. Of our other three selections only Just Hiss gave us a return when he placed at Ripon.
4.35 – Ripon – Instant Attraction. 1.75 pts win. Available at 15/2.
Instant Attraction hasn’t won for just over three years and he has the steadier of ten stone in this handicap. He may not be as good as he once was but, after wind surgery earlier this year, his two performances on the Tapeta at Newcastle were in line with his previous form on the A/W surfaces. The Assessor has continued to give him some respite and he is now five pounds below the mark from which he last ran on turf last November. That has enabled him to drop into this class for the first time in nearly four and half years. Of his ten best career efforts on grass, seven have come when soft has appeared in the description; the other three coming on good ground. He will hope that any give in the ground still remains come post time and, if it does, it will be interesting to see the level of performance he can now produce on turf post his wind operation. His two previous visits to this track have seen him return a win and a close second (beaten a neck), both under today’s jockey. His draw in stall 13 is not very helpful but two non runners drawn inside him at least puts him a bit closer to the rail. There looks to be plenty of pace in the race so he is likely to be dropped in and arrive on the scene in the latter stages.
6.40 – Stratford – Chieftain’s Choice. 2.25 pts win. Available at 7/2.
It would seem that age is beginning to catch up with Chieftain’s Choice because his performances this year are some way short of those he returned last year. However that has been reflected in his handicap mark which is now sixteen pounds lower than it was in January. It was from a pound lower that he gave notice last time out at Market Rasen that he may be ready to take advantage. In the first time blinkers he was given a lot to do but was closing fast on the principles at the line and only lost out by a length in third. That was over today’s trip on good going but he is versatile regarding ground conditions and his only previous visit here saw him win a Bumper. He gets the assistance of Brian Hughes today and he has a very profitable 16% strike when riding for the yard. The trainer’s horses are currently in good form under both codes.