We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The race for the conditional jockey’s title is certainly hotting up and, at the time of writing, Sean Bowen leads Nico de Boinville by three with the jumps season and the career of AP McCoy drawing to a close at Sandown on Saturday
Both are at Warwick this afternoon and a chance is taken on What A Jewel (1.40) in the opener for the Nicky Henderson/de Boinville combination.
The selection finished runner up in a fast ground bumper at Worcester back in June and has not had her ground over timber so far this term. That said she was well backed and ran well on ground softer than ideal at Newbury last time and she is taken to score from a 1lb higher mark.
It was hard not to be impressed by the way Pumped Up Kicks (3.10) travelled at Cheltenham last week and Dan Skelton’s mare is likely to take quite a hike in the weights as a result. She can follow up under a 7lb penalty and Galway has been discussed as a possible summer target.
At Perth, Island Heights (3.50) hinted in his first few starts over fences that he was going to be a better chaser than hurdler and he duly obliged at Musselburgh back in February from an 8lb lower mark despite a slight tendency to jump out to the left. He ran well enough over timber here back in the autumn so today’s conditions should hold no terrors and he remains open to considerable improvement over fences.
Majala won the feature Kilmany Cup 12 months ago for Tom George and bids to follow up off a 5lb higher mark for Tom George. He must go close but Creevytennant (4.20) has won both starts at Perth and is likely to try and make all over a trip, arguably, on the sharp side. The 11-year-old is 8lbs higher than when scoring at Ascot last month over 3m but his slick jumping is a great asset and he can belie his age and win off a career-high mark.
Eshtiaal (5.25) was backed off the boards when runner up at Wexford last month for Gordon Elliot and is taken to go one better in the finale. The five-year-old has never won over timber but he is still rated 85 on the level and Richard Johnson takes over in the saddle this afternoon.
At Beverley, it is interesting to see Pleiades (3.00) return to the scene of his maiden success back in September when he made all on fast ground.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute is beginning to hit top form and his ability to handle the undulations is a big plus on this switchback track. The selection will get further than today’s extended 7f trip in time and is certainly bred for the job. Mark Johnston has saddled the winner of this event on its two previous runnings and he is represented by Enlace (7/2 at BetVictor) who is fit from the all-weather.
The filly Leaderene (3.30) made all over C&D from a 4lbs lower mark back in September and holds a couple of weekend engagements for Mark Johnston which suggests connections think she may be fairly treated off her current mark.
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