Al Dudman is staying on the Flat for today's racing double, and he expects Two Brothers to land the spoils in the closing leg at Doncaster...
"The clock produced some interesting sectionals with Two Brothers - running the 3rd furlong joint-quickest, and churning out the fastest final 3f."
Secret can be a revelation after cover blown at Nottingham
After the highs of the Wednesday winning 55/1 double, the phrase of "After the Lord Mayor's show" was most apt as both selections were beaten out of sight in yesterday's column (it was ever thus). Itsnotyouitsme clearly needed his outing too and will be sharper next time.
Shunning Saeed bin Suroor was a mistake but at least West Ham won again for the column.
Our first selection for Friday is Secret Shadow - an in-form filly representing in-form trainer Andrew Balding at 10/3.
The 3yo has enjoyed a productive campaign in beating Eltham Palace at Windsor and a fine run behind Golden Bugle at Newbury - showing her liking for the track with the way she travelled.
However, she saved her best performance of the season with a rout in testing conditions last time at Nottingham following a small break.
She made a mockery of her mark of 71 in that, sitting handy under Hayley Turner with a stalking ride travelling well, and then she pounced down the straight over 1m6f to pull away with ease. The sectionals from four and three out were the quickest to highlight her tactical speed.
As a home-bred for owner/breeder Guy Brooks, Turner knows the family well having ridden her dam in the past Secret Pursuit, and she too loved heavy conditions; which she'll face today.
Balding's last eight runners have all hit the frame in a sequence of 11313122.
Not one but Two Brothers to hit the right chord
If ever there was a horse crying out for some sort of headgear it's Two Brothers, and today could be the day he gets his win with the application of first-time cheekpieces.
He was a runner in my tracker list following his July effort at Ayr behind Tundra. He came from a long way back in a very strongly run 1m2f only to be denied by the better-placed and smoother travelling mare Tundra - who was probably on her 200th run of the season for David Evans!
The clock produced some interesting sectionals with Two Brothers - running the 3rd furlong joint-quickest, and churning out the fastest final 3f.
Most recently he was seen at Chester upped to 1m4f in heavy ground. It was another fast pace, and he seemed to take an age to get going. The Roodeye's tight turns didn't suit him at all as Alan Persse constantly was bumping up and down in the saddle, but he made up plenty of yards in the dying strides and nearly caught Skytree having conceded first run by someway.
From his promising run in Scotland and the testing conditions that he acted on last time, the long straight at Doncaster looks tailor-made; as a son of Sir Percy, he will not be lacking stamina at the end.
The 3yo has been apprentice ridden in his last seven starts so it's obviously an advantage with William Buick taking over. While it is a slight worry his trainer Mick Easterby hasn't had a winner from his last 33 runners, his staying power surely has to come into play.
If you are backing as a single, he is likely to trade a lot higher in the run.
Daily Multi-Sports Double
Tony Calvin says: "Captain Morgs' hurdling debut at Ascot last October saw him see off Annual Invictus by ¾ length off levels, with 9 lengths back to Striking A Pose in third, in a good time in soft ground. The runner-up won his next three starts and then finished fourth in the Betfair Hurdle off 135, while the third was rated 130 after winning his following two starts."
Kevin Hatchard says: "Arsenal were poor on Monday, despite making an excellent start, and although they have won five of their last eight home matches, I have to oppose them tonight. Arteta's men have found Villa a difficult match-up in recent games, and I'm not convinced by their recent revival. It's also worth noting that Villa have had an extra two days of recovery time."
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Back Secret Shadow and Two Brothers in an each-way double @ 26.025/1