Today's selections come from the meetings at Ripon and Sandown...
We begin at Ripon where there has been sustained support for Snow Trooper in the 1m Handicap at 14:20, now trading at 5.14/1 from an early 8.27/1. This five-year-old gelding has shown improved form this season, narrowly denied on seasonal reappearance at Doncaster before staying on well and running out a two and a quarter-length winner at Windsor 12 days ago. Trainer Dean Ivory is on a hot streak, running at a 40% recent strike rate, and it seems significant Kieran Fallon is booked to ride with him having secured three victories from seven rides for the stable in recent seasons. Although dropping back in trip and due to encounter quicker conditions than he has of late, the gamble indicates he can follow-up.
We go to Sandown for our negative where Al Kazeem has been easy to back in the 1m2f Gordon Richards Stakes at 15:15, now available to side with at 4.1 having been 3.613/5. This consistent type was impressive when last seen at Newmarket last May, running out a five-length winner of a Group2 and looking like being a contender for some big prizes. However he subsequently suffered a stress fracture and returns here today with possibly something to prove. With trainer Roger Charlton struggling for winners he may need the run and with some worthy rivals in opposition including Henry Cecil's Thomas Chippendale, the call could be to take him on today.
We return to the North Yorkshire venue for our final selection in the form of Voodoo Prince, whose price has contracted from 3.39/4 to 2.568/5 for the 1m4f Conditions Stakes at 16:05. This Ed Dunlop-trained runner progressed throughout last season with his runs including a course win, third in a listed race at Goodwood and finally not beaten far when third in the November Handicap at Doncaster. Although not seen since that day the five-year-old is bred to improve with age and his main rivals are returning from lengthier absences, with current second favourite Highland Castle having to prove he retains all his old ability. With the money down, he can be taken to return in winning form.
Back Snow Trooper @ 5.14/1 14:20
Lay Al Kazeem @ 4.1 15:15 Sandown
Back Voodoo Prince @ 2.568/5 16:05 Ripon