Rhys Williams' Friday Racing Preview: Siroco needs to bounce back

Rhys has analysed three short-priced horses running today

Rhys Williams doesn't have any selections for today's action but has analysed three short-priced horses

"If Siroco Jo gets back to the level of form he showed on debut then he'll be tough to beat but that's currently a big 'if' after what he did at Kempton."

Siroco needs to bounce back

Newbury 13.15: Siroco Jo

Siroco Jo made a promising start to his career at Clairefontaine when trained by Mickael Seror. He was gifted a soft lead early on but he was far too green to take advantage of this and continuously slowed down markedly approaching the hurdles. He was joined by Blackiron with a circuit to go and his jumping improved. He tracked that rival for the remainder of the race and couldn't quite get past that rival on the run in.

It would have been reasonable to expect him to mentally improve markedly from that performance when making his first start for Paul Nicholls at Kempton just after Christmas but he still looked very green. He frequently backed off hurdles, jumped a path and eventually dropped away tamely on the final bend.

If Siroco Jo gets back to the level of form he showed on debut then he'll be tough to beat but that's currently a big 'if' after what he did at Kempton.

Herbiers is the current market leader after winning at Hereford. After he was given a rating of 118 I thought connections would immediately look to run him in a handicap as that mark appears lenient, particularly when stepped up in trip having looked a strong stayer in that win. It's a surprise to me that he's running here under a penalty instead.

Rambranlt'jac finally gets a run

Fairyhouse 13.35: Rambranlt'jac

Connections of Rambranlt'jac have had terrible luck when it has come to trying to run him this season. He's been a reserve on three occasions and failed to get in each time, a non runner due to a temperature another time and I think there may have been an abandonment chucked into the mix too.

He finally makes his first start for Willie Mullins today having shown promise on hurdling debut for Hector de Lageneste at Bordeaux. He tracked the leaders from the start and was still there leaving the back straight for the final time. However, he was squeezed up on the inside approaching the cross hurdle and made a mistake which briefly put him back into seventh. Shaken up for a few strides, he quickly responded and was angled out for a run on the final bend. He soon moved back into a share of third jumping 2 out and came under pressure after. His head carriage was a bit high and he looked a touch awkward in the closing stages while running on to finish third.

It would be unwise to consider his chance through the subsequent performances of Zurekin, who has improved significantly since joining Sophie Leech, but this run does set the standard in today's contest at Fairyhouse.

Although the testing ground is an unknown, Rambranlt'jac's action suggests that it should be fine and this track will be more suitable than the very tight track at Bordeaux.

However, he may ideally want further than 2m and his response to pressure at Bordeaux was a bit concerning, so he will likely need to show that he can knuckle down in a finish.

Dirham Emirati to relish extra distance

Newcastle 17.15: Dirham Emirati

Dirham Emirati made a very promising debut over a mile at Kempton early last month. He was slowly away and showed greenness in the back straight which left him in second last of the 11-runner field with three furlongs to go. Pushed along early in the home straight, he gradually started to pick up before finishing strongly under hands and heels in the final couple of furlongs to finish fifth.

His dam was a winner over 1m4f in France and is a half sister to Gold Cup third Master Of Reality so the combination of that debut run and his breeding suggests that the step up to 1m4f should suit.

One possible stumbling block is if the race is slowly run. With only five runners that's a possibility and he took a while to hit top gear on debut so he may briefly get outpaced in that scenario before staying on.

The market hasn't missed his obvious chance, nor that of the newcomer Home And Dry who's bred to relish this trip and further.


Staked: 30.00pts
Returned: 21.10pts
P/L: -8.90pts

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