A busy end to the week with Chepstow tomorrow and three meetings on Friday, here are our declarations for the next forty eight hours:
RAGSTONE VIEW – Thursday 1:50 Chepstow SKY
Quite a highly strung individual who came good on his third start as a three-year-old when winning at Newbury last season and let’s hope we have more of the same tomorrow at Chepstow. He has been fitted with a hood this season and it has certainly seemed to have made him a bit calmer and he ran a good race from a bad draw when second at Lingfield last time and there should be no such problems at Chepstow. Although there are only seven runners, it looks a competitive little race and likely favourite Ocala is open to improvement but he should not be too far away.
BETTYS HOPE – Thursday 3:00 Chepstow SKY
Tough little two-year-old that has been unlucky not to win in the first few weeks of the season as she has filled the runner-up spot on three occasions. On debut she came up against the very speedy Lady Kermit, lost out by a nose at Beverley and then found the fibresand too deep at Southwell. After three relatively quick races she has had a bit longer to recover from Southwell and she steps up to six furlongs tomorrow. She certainly sets the standard on form although there are plenty of newcomers, it will be nice if it is finally her day in the sun!
HANDYTALK – Friday 2:20 Goodwood RTV
Although he has only won the twice, Handytalk has been placed on 18 of his other 31 starts and is rarely far away. From his three starts this year he has been placed twice and the handicapper is finally beginning to relent as he is now 2lb below his last winning mark. It is hard to know exactly what his best trip is but he was third in this contest two years ago and with Oisin Murphy on board hopeful of another good run.
SPOT LITE – Friday 4:15 Bath SKY
Had a good three-year-old campaign with three wins on the board, including two here at Bath on firm ground. Like last year he would have needed his return and should shape much better on Friday and although stall 14 of 14 makes life harder for him, he will enjoy the drop back into a 0-55.
DADDIES DIVA – Friday 7:30 Pontefract RTV
This £25,000 conditions event is a tried and tested route for the Millman two-year-olds as we have won it three times (Cop Hill Lad 2003, Roi De Vitesse 2009 and Master Carpenter 2012) as well as having a couple of placed runners. With just four runners, there is guaranteed prize money of at least £1,135 and with her form working out very well, we are hopeful of collecting a bit more than that. While it is a race we have won three times, Daddies Diva is related to the 2018 winner Rufus King (out of dam’s half-sister) which is a good omen and the step up to six furlongs may well suit. However, we are taking on a potentially smart Darley bred Monoski who was second at York’s Dante meeting and the Brocklesby winner Show Me Show Me so she will need to improve again.