We are delighted to see the back of August, here comes the Autumn programme, our favourite part of the flat season, and with it hopefully a change in luck.
That starts at Thirsk, the speedy Yorkshire track hosting today’s double to kick-start September.
First up (1605 BST), we will trust the recent improved Ripon form of sprinter Red Pike. Bryan Smart’s 6yo has run consistently in top handicaps without winning for 2 years, but his narrow defeat at Ripon was a superb effort with 18 runners nearly 4 lengths or more behind.
He is 6lbs higher here, but should still prevail with a repeat of that last effort on a speed favouring track which should suit, he did win his only previous trip here.
In the following race (1640), David O’Meara will be looking to squeeze a win out of Fieldsman. It is rare for this stable to miss the target with new recruits, but that looked likely until a sign of form at York was swiftly followed by two narrow defeats.
He is a couple of pounds better off than his future mark, and the trainer is obviously looking to exploit that in this competitive heat. He was overhauled late on by a useful animal last time, and this track should help him hold a lead all the way to the line. He is better drawn that the big danger Mango Chutney, and can register that first stable win.
Red Pike (1605 Thirsk), 1pt win, 4/1 Skybet
Fieldsman (1640 Thirsk), 1pt win, 9/2 Skybet
Red Pike & Fieldsman, 1pt win double, approx 26/1
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