Sizing John began his season in style at Punchestown on Sunday when overcoming a significant early mistake to run out a convincing winner of the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase over two-and-a-half- miles.
The Gold Cup winner was cut from 6s to 5/1 in the immediate aftermath of the race with BetVictor and trimmed again from 5s to 4/1 on Monday. I am a huge fan of the horse and if he gets to the Festival in one piece, I think he will go off half his current odds.
There is a 9am inspection planned for Ayr on Tuesday morning ahead of today’s meeting. If the card gets the green light then I am going to take a chance with Mumgos Debut (2.20) despite the fact that the selection showed little last time. The yard of Lucinda Russell were largely out of sorts earlier in the season, but they have been in good form of late and this intermediate trip of 2m 3f on soft/heavy ground looks ideal.
Teddy Tee (2.55) travelled through that race like the best horse on his reappearance and the hope is that today’s drop back in trip will see him in a better light with that run under his belt. The selection doesn’t take much racing but the sole career win for this lightly-raced sort was at today’s track albeit over further.
Dual Cambridgeshire winner Bronze Angel (1.35) is tried over ten furlongs for the first time in his career at the age of eight going on nine but any horse who can win two nine furlong handicaps at Newmarket should be able to get an additional furlong around two bends at Lingfield.
The selection is a dual winner on today’s surface, is well drawn and the handicapper has certainly given Marcus Tregoning’s gelding a chance.
Gracious John (2.10) won todays corresponding five-furlong handicap last season from a 6lbs higher mark and can follow up for David Evans in a hot little sprint. The selection won at Leicester on his penultimate start on turf, but is likely to appreciate this return to an all-weather surface – Fran Berry takes over in the saddle.
Sir Maximillian bombed out in this race last season and there is every chance that he is being prepared for another Dubai campaign although a check of the market is advised.
I am surprised Galloway Hills stays at the minimum trip having looked in need of further on his debut over C&D when a fast finishing third, but he will know more about what is required from the traps today and a check of the market is needed for the David Elsworth trained juvenile.
The vote, however, goes to Bill Turner’s Little Boy Blue (2.45) who can make it third time lucky having finished second in both turf starts including at Nottingham last time. Luke Morris, who was in the saddle at Colwick Park, keeps the ride.
At Wolverhampton, do keep an eye out for the unpronounceable Rowlestownerendezvu (7.20) who is 6lbs lower than when finishing fourth at Kempton and this step back up in trip to an extended mile-and-a-half will certainly suit.