Steve Hughes has two selections for Monday with choices from Windsor and Leicester.
The highlight of the racing programme in Britain on Monday is a very competitive listed sprint at Windsor this evening and I am hoping the rain keeps away as my selection, although handling softer going, is best on a dry surface. There are no such worries about the ground for my Leicester tip who will relish the slow ground there. Nolecce gave us a good run yesterday, placing second for the each-way selection (advised 9/1).
Leicester 3.20: Spectator
Spectator has packed in plenty of racing into his short career since making a belated juvenile racecourse debut at Brighton in October, and on the evidence so far he looks a far better horse when racing with cut in the ground, as he will get at Leicester today.
He went into my notebook at Brighton in a soft ground maiden when staying on nicely into fourth, after coming from a long way back. There was less promise about two unplaced efforts to finish off 2013 on the Polytrack surfaces at Kempton and Lingfield.
He made a nice reappearance at Bath in April, receiving a hefty bump as he was beginning to make his challenge 2f out before keeping on into third, but that again proved his liking for soft ground. He was given too much to do at the same track next time, but the horse did seem to be feeling the fast going. However with conditions more to his liking at Chepstow last week, he came with a strong late run to wear down Loch Na Maire late on, proving his stamina for this 10f distance. Andrew Balding has no hesitation in bringing him out for his third run in as many weeks under a penalty and Kieran Shoemark’s booking offsets that 6lb rise here. There are doubts about the ground for a few of these, so off his low weight Spectator makes plenty of appeal.
Windsor 7.30: Music Master
A really strong renewal of this listed stakes with 15 declared and Music Master is expected to follow up his win on seasonal reappearance at Warwick and land his first success in pattern race company.
Potentially drawn well in twelve, Music Master does have form with cut, notably when chasing home Tropics in a Group 3 over this 6f trip at Ascot in the autumn. However the majority of his form has come on faster ground, so the hope is that the track continues to dry after a warm weekend and misses the forecast showers today. That will also ensure the high draw is favoured as usual at Windsor.
Henry Candy’s colt won for the second season running on seasonal debut when landing a conditions event at Warwick and despite winning his maiden impressively over 7f last season, there remains a suspicion that the horse will be better served by a speed test over 6f now. He looked set to take a big hand in the 7f Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last season only to fade late on and I think riding him handier over 6f will suit more. He readily brushed aside inferior opposition at Warwick and whilst this is much tougher, he still looks to be improving.
1pt win – Spectator – 3.20 Leicester (4/1 general)
1pt win – Music Master – 7.30 Windsor (4/1 general)