Gerry Ballentine's runner, whose 'backclass' more than indicates his liking for the Essex venue, confirmed he was closing in on his best form prior to a big run in the semi-finals, which came courtesy of a trademark fast start from the 575m boxes. A similar break from an ideal middle box draw, outside less recognised trappers, can soon see Rockview Sail in control.
While the absence of Bansha Mo, who would have taken all the beating, has removed some of the gloss from this year's first major final, the presence of Mash Mad Snowy, tipped up ante-post in this column, should ensure the selection won't have it all his own way. Seamus Cahill's rapidly improving charge found plenty of trouble in last week's semi-final, a race which on another night he might easily have won. With three wins over the CD prior to the event, he could hardly be in better form and his strong running style, coupled by his sole wide runner status, will ensure his is a major threat throughout.
The supporting card throws up a number of potential wagers, but none appeals more than Sequential (21:40), who can make it four wins on the bounce over the 400m trip for in-form Peterborough handler David Pruhs. A prolific winner around the tight circuit, she has the draw and early speed to soon put her mark on the contest and rates a confident selection. A lay of Fancy Socks, who has won only once in her last 12 races over this trip, can provide the stake money.
Stress Force has used his early pace to good effect in showing marked improvement in each of his three starts over the 575m trip and looks a solid wager to land the 22:11, where Coronation Cup semi-finalist Mays Millhouse rates one to take on, having lost his last ten races at the track.
Nans Turbo ran his best race for sometime last week, but the combination of a trap four draw and a losing run that goes back to last May makes him another to take on in the 21:56.
Backers however are directed towards Rio Minstrel (20:50), who can win a red hot puppy contest at the expense of Bonamassa Rocks, who hasn't raced since November, while the reliable Ayamzaman can pick up where he left off in 2012 on his first start since the middle of last month (22:26)
While viewers tonight will have to make do with just the one meeting at Hove (Henlow having cancelled owing to a lack of runners), backers should come out smiling on what appears a card laden with good betting opportunities.
Your A Champ, who has proved as good as a cash machine in recent weeks, can again put punters in the money by completing her sprint five timer at 21:06.
Swords Messi, amongst those behind 'Champ' last week, can stretch his unbeaten record over the 515m journey by making all in the 20:34, while Swift Signal, appears to have little to deny her completing a four-timer over 695m at 22:11.
The maiden at 21:56 promises to be a lively affair, but it might be worth staying with the improving local hope Glasheen Eden, who continues to keep churning out the victories, while another local runner Larrikin is hard to resist in the 21:24 having won four of his last five races over the CD.
Value seekers are advised to keep a bit back for Kelseys Prince (22:26), narrowly beaten behind Larrikin last time, who appears to have been under-estimated.comments powered by Disqus