Ray Flanagan previews Ascot and Cork this Saturday.
I have been struggling to find the time for Horse Racing in recent weeks but expect to improve my performance considerably now over the upcoming weeks. A strong Irish thyme to the selections today with two picks at Cork along with a pair of Emerald raiders with chances at Ascot’s big Champions Day fixture.
Ascot 1.55- Tapestry
An open fillies and mares Group One. Tapestry appears the pick of the prices judging on her 2014 form which is very strong. She was unlucky not to win the Irish Oaks last season before producing a career best to beat the outstanding Taghrooda in the Yorkshire Cup. The question remains whether she can return to that level and I am taking a positive view of her seasonal debut behind Ribbons at The Curragh were she would have been well short of match fitness but still ran strongly to grab the runner-up spot. She was not given a hard time when she was not going to win the Arc last time and it would be no surprise to see a much better effort today.
Ascot 3.05- Fascinating Rock (w/o Jack Hobbs)
Fascinating Rock appears to be overpriced and it will be no surprise if he emerges at the chief threat to Jack Hobbs. Always well regarded at Rosewell House, he has been a little short of top class but remains a capable operator on his day. His close second in the Tatttersalls Gold Cup looks very decent form, considering that Al Kazeem was runner-up here last year and that Postponed went on to win the King George. Dermot Weld’s horse put a below par effort at Windsor behind when winning easily at Leopardstown last month and he should be primed for a career best with conditions in his favour.
Ascot 3.45-Merry Me
An extremely difficult handicap.Merry Me might be a shade too high in the weights, but nothing appears particularly leniently treated in the race and there might be more to come form Andrew Balding’s filly. The daughter of Invincible Spirit handles some cut in the ground and she has been shaping encouragingly all year including when staying on well over the stiff mile at Pontefract behind Nakuti on her penultimate start. She has frame possibilities at a nice price.
Cork 4.45- Cailin Mor
Cailin Mor has ben a model of consistency throughout the year and deserves a winning turn today following a number of near misses. She was unlucky not to land a strong handicap at The Curragh on her penultimate start and she has a sporting chance of reversing the form with Ibergman who beat her at Navan earlier in the season. I think this relatively easy track at Cork will suit and she might get first run on her rivals.
Cork 5.20- Rainfall Radar
A chance for John Murphy at his local track. This daughter of Rebuttal displayed promise on her debut at Galway in the summer and has gone on to record three placed efforts since. She very nearly reeled in the 86 rated Athassel Abbey at Navan most recently and this looks a weaker maiden.
0.75 pts ew- Tapestry-1.55 Ascot-10-1 Sporting Bet
2 pts ew-Fascinating Rock -3.05 Ascot (w/o Jack Hobbs)-9-1 Ladbrokes
0.75 pts ew- Merry Me-4.45 Ascot-16-1 General
2 pts win- Cailin Mor-4.45 Cork-7-2 General
2 pts win- Rainfall Radar-5.20 Cork-9-4 General