A tricky week racing-wise, with the Summer rains causing an abrupt softening of ground, but with drying weather it is proving uncertain the extent to which soft ground lovers are having their day come race times.
Bath would be the most likely to see conditions change with its rapid hilltop drainage, whilst Sandown’s evening meeting could retain moisture at low-lying Esher.
We prefer the glamour fixture – Catterick.
The North Yorkshire track hosts a competitive card. The 5f sprint (1600 BST) is packed full of Catterick regulars and specialists. That said, it seems a little strange that Landing Night (3 wins from 3 runs here) should have run 16 times elsewhere since the last of his unbeaten course sequence.
We are prepared to steer past that course form and head straight to the top of the market and the fabulously named Fumbo Jumbo. This filly switched to the excellent Michael Dods yard for the start of this season, and was well supported in the market for an 18 runner York affair.
Whilst she was well beaten by a runaway winner, beating the other 16 runners was a sure sign on season’s debut that there is improvement in the locker. This race doesn’t look as hard and she can prevail for her useful apprentice.
The following 6f handicap (1630), looks a great chance for local trainer Ruth Carr’s Cupid’s Arrow. He has been mixing 6f and 7f runs so far this year, and put up a lifetime best when leading until inside the final furlong over 7f here last time.
Stepped back to 6f, we expect the same aggressive tactics can see him all the way to the line this time at a track that suits those tactics and on ground he is bred to enjoy.
The double looks a worthy investment.
Recommmendation: Fumbo Jumbo (1600 Catterick) & Cupid’s Arrow (1630 Catterick), 1pt win double approx. 10/1
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