A single 7.63 winner at Perth last night for Alan
Stick with Lucinda and Wadge again at the Palace
Back Bix Beiderbecke @ 5/2
Petite Rhapsody was a winning single yesterday and drifted out to a rather nice 7.63 BSP, but the opening leg presented a case of "what might have been?" as Who Is It was in front when falling three from home.
However, Petite Rhapsody's jockey Patrick Wadge once again showcased his skills with a perfectly executed ride. He tracked the leader, didn't go too early and got the horse up on the line with strength and judgement.
Wadge again gets the call, and once more does Lucinda Russell with a back of Bix Beiderbecke - a name that would be a dream for Brian Badonde to commentate on.
And let's face facts, this is an awful race so it's about picking your battles. Although a race not quite so bad as last night's three-runner hurdles' contest.
Bix Beiderbecke showed some ability on debut at Perth in a bumper and travelled quite nicely if keen, but couldn't match that on his second bumper run when beaten at Kelso on good to soft ground.
His hurdling debut last time was in a better race than today's and while he was beaten 17L in third, he ran well to a point despite an indifferent round of jumping.
The ground was soft, and on pedigree, it wouldn't have suited at all as he's a rare jumper for Mawatheeq - a horse who needed fast ground in his pomp. Today's better going at Scone Palace will be a massive plus, and if he can race a little more cleverly and not so exuberant, he should be in the mix.
He could drift a little too considering the favourite is a Gordon Elliott runner.
Fine debut from Burrows filly puts her in the frame
Back Mantoog @ 2/1
Playing again towards the very top of the market for the second leg, it's a double that is more in keeping with the "home question" on Question Of Sport rather than an "away one", as it's very hard to ignore the claims of the Owen Burrows trained Mantoog at Salisbury.
Burrows' young horses tend to improve for the run and usually need their outing, so that fact that Mantoog shaped so well on debut at Kempton when finishing second bodes well for her future.
The time was a fast one at Kempton 181 days ago, and the winner Inner Space was subsequently pitched into a Group 3. The third and the fifth have both won since and the fourth has been placed, so it's a fair piece of form for a debut.
She couldn't match the burst of speed by Inner Space in that Kempton first run, but she travelled fairly well for her debut in behind and ran in nicely without the jockey ever being overly animated in the closing stages.
Indeed, she ran a quicker final furlong than the winner at 11.69 compared to 11.90.
She's also a relation to the great Ghanaati - a horse related to Mawatheeq and it's very much a fast ground pedigree. Quick conditions will suit, well good ground at least, if the watering cans are out.
Burrows is also 5-25 at 20% at the track