Horse Racing: Racing guru Alan Thomson marks your card ahead of Saturday’s programme and fancies La Vecchia Scuola, Rangefinder, Chachamaidee and Lord Raglan for success.
LA VECCHIA SCUOLA (2.50) has the ground in her favour at Chester and can pop up at a juicy price in the 1m 5f Listed handicap on Saturday.
After scoring with some aplomb under Kieren Fallon at Pontefract on Sunday, it was all systems go for the two-mile handicap at York on Friday. However, fast ground on the Knavesmire convinced Jim Goldie that a switch to Chester was more prudent, especially after his mare had shown she can handle the Roodee’s tight bends when running stablemate Dashing Light to a neck back in May.
Dashing Light ran a cracker when foiled by The Fonz at York this week to give the form a solid enough look and La Vecchia Scuola will surprise a few of her higher-rated rivals as she steps up in grade.
Later on the card, RANGEFINDER (5.40) can finally poke his head in front after a series of frustrating defeats. He failed by only a head to catch Dubai Bounty here earlier in the month and ran well enough in defeat in the Chester Cup to underline some solid course form.
At Sandown, CHACHAMAIDEE (2.05) can atone for a most unlucky run at Ascot when she lost a great deal of ground at the start. Henry Cecil’s filly ran her heart out to finish second to comfortable winner Field Day and, hopefully, there will be no repeat of her sloppy stalls antics this time.
My best bet at Ripon is progressive handicapper LORD RAGLAN (3.05). He only failed narrowly to catch Don’t Call Me (winner next time out at Ascot) in a decent event at Ayr, then went one better at Chester with a brave front-running performance.