Sunday’s Arc is looking a sub-standard renewal this weekend with the latest defection being the unbeaten French filly La Cressonniere who has picked up a slight knock and misses the race. There is little or no rain forecast for Paris (race run at Chantilly and not Longchamp) this week and the race looks sure to be run on fast ground.
Roger Varian’s Postponed heads the market at 2/1 with BetVictor and he will love the ground; Found (6/1) looks likely to be the main challenger from Ballydoyle and we will know later today if Derby winner Harzand, who works first thing, will take his place in the field.
Over the jumps at Southwell and Larkhall (2.20) hinted at a return to form last time when runner up over today’s trip at Uttoxeter; the selection when over C&D last October, albeit from an 8lbs lower mark, having finished second in this corresponding race under today’s jockey twelve months ago.
Kamool is 9lbs higher than when scoring over C&D last time but he travelled like much the best horse for most of the race and the forecast good ground is ideal. This is a better race though with four of the seven runners having scored last time out. The vote goes to Doitforjoe (3.30) who is going to make a smashing chaser in time but is clearly going the right way over timber and is taken to add to his own C&D success gained last month.
Winning point-to-pointer Definitly Grey (5.10) ran his best race yet when perhaps not quite getting home over 2m 6f at Stratford last time and this slight drop in trip should suit Charlie Longsdon’s 5-year-old who has been dropped a couple of pounds by the handicapper.
At Sedgefield there is a cracking Novices’ Hurdle with four previous winners over timber and a couple of exciting maidens. The nod goes to Kiwayu (2.30) who was a decent stayer on the level and ran away with a maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter last time in the manner of a decent sort.
In the 2m 4f handicap chase I hope to see The Backup Plan reverse Bangor form with Ballycool, allowed 4lbs for half-a-length, back on a track where he has won twice previously and is unbeaten over today’s 2m 3f trip including when landing this corresponding race from a 4lbs higher mark 12 months ago.