Today’s Preview with Rory Delargy – 24th September 2014
Rory Delargy previews six races for Racing FM today – you can hear his thoughts and all of the action live throughout the day via the Listen Live button above or on the App…
The Duke Of Atholl Cup (as a point of interest, the late Duke was the last man in Britain to have his own private army, the Atholl Highlanders – if ever you’re one short for the pub quiz, I’m your man) looks a good opportunity for Nigel Twiston Davies to get one on the board with Hollow Blue Sky. Nigel’s business partner, Carl Llewellyn, recently told me that the yard would basically be starting their season here and they’d be “all out” to get winners on the board. It’s been well known for years that Nigel targets this meeting but of course, with the likes of Gordon Elliott and the Crawfords also realizing there are some easy pickings for decent money, it’s become a little harder in recent years for them to have the monopoly they perhaps once had. But Hollow Blue Sky has plenty going for him, not least he goes well fresh, has good form at the track, and still looks like he might have more to give this season. Velator has the fitness advantage but has to give him weight.
Most of the attention in this contest is centred around Spacelab, a once-raced winner from local trainer Amanda Perratt’s yard, and whilst there’s no doubting the merit of her Lingfield win, she’s going to find conditions here very different and she needs to prove she’s as effective on turf. Serena Grae, on the other hand, has some very solid form in the book already, and her second to Fire Fighting last time out looks better after that one’s win in better company at Ayr last week. She handled Chepstow’s undulations well when winning there in July, and looks a little overpriced to make all here for a yard still going well. King Calypso is another I’ve been following, but like the favourite, his best efforts have come on polytrack, and he is also taking a hike in class, which tempers confidence.
A field of handicappers who all find winning difficult, and it offers an opportunity to Valmina to score at a venue he’s gone well at in the past. Indeed, he was a close second in this race last year, going down by just over a neck, and has a 6lb lower mark from which to operate from this time around. He also ran well here two starts ago when after blowing the start, coming with a good looking challenge (traded 11-8 in running) only to fade out of it late, and is clearly in better heart than his form figures imply. Cam Hardie is obviously a good booking in an apprentice race, and Valmina is taken to record a ninth victory today.
With original fancy and Christmas-Expenses vehicle Auld Fyffee now an absentee, this race has lost a bit of its appeal, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have some appeal, and when I weighed it up first, it was a case of Auld Fyffee or Charlotte’s Secret being the selection, so the Fahey representative is now of greater interest. He ran well in the face of a difficult task against a horse that took to Tapeta well in Faraajh two starts ago, and then ran on the wrong side over 7f here on his latest start, but still only got beaten two lengths. Better drawn here install 17, he really should be in the firing line, and looks ready for the step up to a mile. Call Me Crockett was also well backed for this when prices came out, and while he’s not shown much to date, he hails from connections that know the time of day, and is feared.
This looks a real headspinner, with a few that I’ve put up before all holding chances. Orient Class, of course, tops that list after landing the nap at Ayr last week, and the natural assumption will be that he’s won because he raced alone up the favoured rail. That would be a dangerous one to make though, as I was keen on his chances purely on form, and he might be able to defy a penalty if stall 3 isn’t a hindrance. Little Eli is another to consider, coming from a yard that’s just emerging from a protracted spell in the doldrums, and a quick five furlongs here will suit. The race is further complicated by the presence of previous nap selections Ingenti and Emily Davison, but there are negatives in terms of class (Ingenti) and trip (Emily Davison), so that pair are passed over. She will be of more interest when returned to six furlongs. Little Eli makes most appeal at the early prices, but I’ll also be intrigued to see if Orient Class takes a walk in the market.
It’s a case of quantity over quality again to close the card, but there’s a small bet to be had in the shape of Chris Wilson’s 5-y-o Niceonemyson, who gets a pair of blinkers for the first time. He has both a decent record in class 6 handicaps (32334 last 5 runs in the grade) and has run well in the Autumn too, including when going close in this contest a year ago. He drops back to six furlongs here, which looks a good move given there should be a decent pace on with a big field, and with a good draw to work from is worth taking the 22-1 about (25’s if you’ve a Boylesports account) as it means we’re getting better than 5-1 he hits the frame here, with four places to play with.
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