A disappointing day for Alan yesterday when neither selection really threatened, after starting the week well he is looking to get back on the winning trail with two from Kempton and Fakenham...
"Red Rannagh gets in here, for the third successive start, of what looks a fair mark of 86"
The current favourite in this race is Rock Steady and he certainly lives up to his name with some ultra consistent performances. However, Roger Charlton's charge always seems to find one to beat him as three seconds on his last three starts indicates. This time last year Rock Steady was running off 72 and with just one win under his belt, at Windsor in a Class 4 handicap, he has to run off top weight and a career high mark of 87 tonight.
I want to take the favourite on in this with David Simcock's fairly new arrival Red Rannagh who has run well in his four starts for his new yard and gets in here, for the third successive start, of what looks a fair mark of 86. Jamie Spencer getting the leg up on the three-year-old colt is also a positive. Providing the selection is ridden in the same style as before - I expect him to be dropped out early and produced late in the race - then Spencer is just the man for that job.
Although there are just the five going to post in this one, it is still a very competitive handicap. Fine Resolve though is back off his last winning mark of 92 over hurdles and has been running well on the flat, winning two of his last three starts. Alexandra Dunn doesn't have the biggest team to go to battle with but she does well with what she has, improving year on year.
The seven-year-old gelding may well be a better horse on the flat but he has shown ability over hurdles before, and now that he is back to the same rating as when he won at Uttoxeter in June I think he will put in a bold showing today. Lee Side Lady is on a hat-trick and looks the one to beat, but off the course for 157 days and a rise of some 13lbs since the first win of her winning sequence could be difficult to overcome.
Alan Thompson 2016 P&L
2016 Overall (prior to this week): +10.93 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 8 pts
Returned: 8.3 pts