The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Kid Commando, (1505 Ascot), 1pt win, 3/1:
A smaller field than usual for this handicap hurdle and with due respect to Countister and Malaya from top yards they have had their chances at this level, whereas Kid Commando steps out of graded novice hurdles on a useful looking handicap mark. His yard always does well early season and is doing so again this year and he looks to have a rock solid claim.
Roksana, (1445 Wetherby), 2/1: a tricky race here with the fitness of long absent but talented Next Destination an unknown. Lisnagar Oscar is reigning staying hurdle champion, but on official ratings he will find it hard to give a penalty and the mares allowance to Roksana. She is useful at her best, has run well fresh, and is from a stable going well.
Vinndication, (1520 Wetherby), 5/2: the enigma here is the super-talented Cyrname, obviously the best horse here, but returning after a slightly disappointing last run last season, over a 3m trip that remains a question mark and running left handed that palpably hasn’t suited in the past. Kim Bailey’s Vinndication may not have the same elite talent, but with the stable flying, a proven record of winning fresh, and with this flat 3m probably ideal, he looks the one to pick up the pieces if, or more likely when, Cyrname implodes.
Whatmore, (1545 Ascot), 5/1: old Regal Encore likes it here but usually needs a run to be ready and that is more likely as a 12yo. Instead this is a rematch of a valuable spring Kempton race won by Mister Malarky over Black Corton with Whatmore in 4th. They can fight it out again and it may be Whatmore, a good 4th at Cheltenham also, who can improve for experience and from a stable going well, who can triumph under his low weight.
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