Steve Hughes has two picks from Tuesday afternoon’s races.
The evening racing season gets into full swing this week, but the afternoon programme looks stronger on Tuesday with Newmarket staging its first fixture of 2017 and Kempton’s jumps meeting looking the best of the British jumps cards. I have selections from each.
Kempton 4.15: Cloudy Bob
He is an infrequent winner, so it might be pushing it to go back in with Cloudy Bob just a couple of weeks after he did us a good turn over course and distance, but this race looks set up perfectly for a follow up victory.
At his best on sharp right-handed tracks, Cloudy Bob moved smoothly through the field to take command four out and never looked like relinquishing the lead under a positive ride from Tom Greatrex. The 7lb claimer keeps the ride today and although he is up 8lbs for the win and faces stiffer opposition today, Cloudy Bob is the one with few negatives given course, distance, going and recent form are all good.
Emma Lavelle’s pair are coming back from a winter break, Sego Success usually needs a stiffer test of stamina, Vikekhal is inconsistent and can be a hard ride, whilst Gallery Exhibition has yet to convince over as far as 2m in the past. That leaves Tinker Time, but he can get behind in his races and on this fast ground he might just find things happening too soon.
Newmarket 5.05: Independence Day
He is probably short enough on what he has actually achieved, but there are enough positives surrounding Independence Day to make him a bet in Newmarket’s finale.
This horse is all about pace and has almost been campaigned exclusively at the minimum trip. A wide margin winner of a Down Royal maiden when with David Wachman, he then went on to place second in listed and Group 3 contests as a juvenile. Last season was something of a write off, with just two runs in the spring, being well beaten both times.
However with his previous trainer having quit it is interesting that his owners have kept this colt in training and moved him to Robert Cowell, a man with a growing reputation as a trainer of sprinters. Still an entire, it is likely that connections will be wanting to win races bigger than handicaps, therefore this could simply be a means to a bigger end point this season. An opening handicap mark of 93 looks exploitable if he retains his old ability and the booking of Ryan Moore suggests they mean business today.
1pt win – Cloudy Bob – 4.15 Kempton – 3/1 general
1pt win – Independence Day – 5.05 Newmarket – 5/2 Paddy Power, Stan James, Coral