- 1.30 Lingfield - Breathless Times - 9/2 BetVictor
- 2.55 Bath - Pablo Escobarr - 3/1 Betfair
- 3.30 Bath - Waarif - 6/1 William Hill
- 4.45 Lingfield - Arcanada - 10/1 BetVictor
- 5.05 Bath - The Daley Express - 2/1 Paddy Power
- 3.00 Saturday - Captain Colby - 12/1 Bet365
Only the one winner yesterday but if you grabbed the early odds on Zabeel House it was overall profit for the day. We were also rather unlucky with three selections placing in what could have been a great day punting for the column. There is a cracking days action today, and I have picked out the following tips for you.
Tip 1 BREATHLESS TIMES – Lingfield 1.30
There is a theme in my two all-weather championship selections today in that they both love the course, and polytrack surface. Breathless Times has a potent turn of foot around Lingfield and arguably his best performance came when fourth behind Corinthia Knight in the 6f conditions event on Championships Day last year. He was mightily unlucky and should have won that race given more luck in running but found trouble on more than one occasion.
With another year on his back to further strengthen he should be a real force to be reckoned with over this 7f trip. He ran below par when last seen but that was at a track and on a surface that wasn’t ideal. Also, in Cameron Noble we have one of the best riders in the race. Given luck in running he should take a bit of beating.
Tip 2 PABLO ESCOBARR – Bath 2.55
Pablo Escobarr clearly disappointed for Mark Johnston last season and was beaten both times as favourite, one as short as 4/9. The move to the William Haggas stable clearly benefited him, and he was a decent second in a Goodwood maiden before defeating the useful The Olympian at the same track.
In all races to date he has shown signs of running green, and the undulations of Goodwood would have not shown him to his best ability. Therefore, I believe his handicap mark of 93 to be plenty lenient, and gives him a real chance to win this contest. It was interesting to hear Haggas saying his opening run this year could be in a classic trial - that is clearly the high regard in which he is held.
Tip 3 WAARIF – Bath 3.30
I was really taken with Waarif's comeback run in the Lincoln Handicap where he was given plenty to do before staying on very well. As a rule, Waarif tends to need the first outing of the season and it was credit to the horse he ran so well. He did nothing but improve last year and further progression for the shrewd David O’Meara is likely.
Since he joined that yard when racing on good to firm ground or quicker his record is 2421140, and in stall six he has a good draw today. I thought Petrus could be a big danger but he will have to perform very well to overcome stall 14, and for what is a very rare runner at the track for the yard, Waarif could make the journey worthwhile.
Tip 4 ARCANADA- Lingfield 4.45
As with Breathless Times, Arcanada really loves Lingfield. He boasts a terrific record at the track and appears massively overpriced to me in the 4.45 contest. The key for him when he is allowed to dictate the race he performs a lot better. The vast majority of the runners today have “tracked leader” in their form, but I can't see any that will actually take him on for the lead.
A huge plus for the horse is Richard Kingscote booked on board. He is one of the best jockeys around, in my opinion, at dictating a race from the front. Drawn to attack in stall four, I can really see him making all and claiming the massive prize for the Tom Dascombe yard.
Tip 5 THE DALEY EXPRESS – Bath 5.05
Ever since I saw this horse run last week, I had this race in mind for The Daley Express and I fancy this quite strongly, as long as the ground is not too quick. Ideally, I would want it riding good or softer and while Bath is known for quick ground, there should be plenty of grass cover as it's the first meeting of the season.
If it is riding quick I would not be surprised to see connections pull him out for another day. He normally runs his race at this time of the year before his form tails at the back end of the season. He then comes back on a lower handicap mark the following season where the cycle repeats itself. He won at this meeting last season off 84, and runs off the same mark again today after a great comeback run at Windsor.
Bonus Tip - Captain Colby - Scottish Sprint Cup
One to potentially look for on Saturday in the Scottish Sprint Cup is Paul Midgley's Captain Colby. As long as he doesn't get a terrible draw, I could see him running a big race - he has everything in his favour. He has had a recent spin to blow off the cobwebs, and has real good form on quick ground. I like Midgeley’s horses when they run at Musselburgh and would not put anyone off saving on his other two runners if prices allow.