Alan kept his winning form up with another one at Hamilton yesterday, his final two selections for this week go at Carlisle and Ripon...
"a drop down in class and the Palmer team may have just found a nice opportunity for her here"
Last year's winner of this Swaheen returns to defend his crown for Julie Camacho, however, he failed to add to that in six subsequent starts last year and finished last of 16 runners, beaten 35 lengths, behind one of his rivals today in Starplex at Thirsk last time out, despite being 4lbs below that winning handicap mark he has plenty improvement to make to get in the mix here and the winner surely lies elsewhere. The one that caught my eye was Hugo Palmer's charge Kohinur, this isn't a track the Palmer team visit regularly but when they do they don't tend to leave empty handed.
Kohinur is a lightly raced four-year-old filly who is still a maiden after her four starts, after finishing second in a hot Newmarket maiden she was then sent off odds-on on her next two starts but failed to get her head in front. She was then not seen again for 240 days before returning to run well in defeat on handicap debut at Goodwood last time out. She didn't get the clearest of runs that day and could have been even closer with a bit more luck. This is a drop down in class and the Palmer team may have just found a nice opportunity for her here.
Gurkha Friend is favourite to make it back-to-back wins after making all over one mile and a furlong here last month but the handicapper has taken a rather dim view of the performance and raised him 8lbs for that success, that looks a heavy burden to carry in this race today and his front running style may just set this up perfectly for a closer like Dawaaleeb. Les Eyre's gelding has also been burdened with a hefty penalty and is running off a career high mark today but he is lightly raced (nine starts) and open to more improvement than the 31 starts that Gurkha Friend has had.
Dawaaleeb was previously owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum and trained by Chalrie Hills but was moved onto new connections for 65,000 guineas at the sales in November. Since the move to Les Eyre's operation he has improved in each of his four starts for his new connections and was impressive when pulling away from the field to win in stylish fashion at Beverley last month, he is still unexposed, and can land this before taking on some more valuable turf handicaps later this season.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +10.75 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 12 pts
Returned: 18.07 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts