After 21mls of rain on Tuesday the ground is likely to be good to soft at best for the Epsom Derby on Saturday and there is the possibility of further significant rain on Thursday morning. The Chester Vase winner Young Rascal (10/1 with BetVictor) is one colt who will appreciate the rain and I can see his price contacting between now and post time.
Only nine fillies were declared for tomorrow’s Oaks at Epsom although, at the time of writing, the race had been reopened. Wild Illusion heads the betting at 5/2 with BetVictor and the 1000 Guineas’ fourth looks a worthy market leader.
There is a valuable card at Chelmsford this evening and in the five-furlong sprint Poyle Vinnie (6.40) is 3lbs lower than when finishing runner up here last month. The selection has not been beaten far back on turf in subsequent starts and is taken to reward each way support back on polytrack from his favourable draw in stall three.
The first of two £30k handicaps on the card sees the return of the unbeaten Codicil who won all four of her two-year-old starts and all by a margin of a neck or less. Winning by such short margins has enabled the filly to stay ahead of the handicapper and she is only 5lbs higher than her last success at Newcastle back in September.
Trained by Sir Mark Prescott there is every chance that this valuable prize has been the target for some time. Being There was backed as if he had more to offer when squeezed out at the start at Chester last time and a market move would be worth noting.
Vale Of Kent (7.10) steps up to a mile for the first time and ran a cracking race at Goodwood on Saturday when third from a very poor draw. The gelding won his sole previous start at Chelmsford and he is bred to appreciate today’s additional furlong. Franny Norton takes over from a 7lbs claimer.
In the fillies’ handicap Hateya made most under the favoured stands’ rail at Lingfield (turf) over 7f last time but is 11lbs higher this evening as she chases a hat-trick of wins this month. She is drawn on the outside this evening and preference goes to another chasing her third win on the spin Mesquite (7.40).
The selection was taken right leaving the stalls but travelled powerfully to beat the Charlie Appleby-trained Fountain Of Time over C&D last time. Vitamin only went off 33/1 for the 1000 Guineas – but only beat one home at Newmarket – earlier in the month and this looks more her level.
Big Time Maybe (2.50) can land the claimer at Wolverhampton back on tapeta having disappointed at Chester on turf earlier in the month. The three-year-old has a course record of 1-2-3 and he is taken to make all from a cracking draw in stall three. The selection has little if anything in hand on Captain Lars who is more than twice his age but the 8-year-old has the worst of the draw in stall eight and the bird may have flown before he gets organised.
I am sure there is a race to be won with Faadhel but his draw in stall 11 (of 12) is a concern in the extended mile handicap and preference is for Bin Daahir (3.50) on his handicap debut for Charlie Hills. The colt steps up in trip this afternoon which should suit on breeding and his draw in stall three is a plus. He had not seen the track for ten months prior to his Lingfield comeback and is entitled to come on a fair amount for that promising reappearance.
At Ffos Las Timeforwest (7.00) returns after a two-month break and is likely to run a big race in the feature 3m Handicap Chase. The selection has gone well fresh in the past and is 5lbs lower over fences than timber – the forecast good ground should be ideal and she can reward each way support for Jonjo O’Neill.
Robinsson (8.30) was never travelling when pulled up at Fontwell on soft ground last month on his second start since a 675-day lay-off. It transpired that the gelding had burst a blood vessel and the hope is that this evening’s better ground will suit Oliver Sherwood’s eight-year-old.