Alan Dudman struck late with winner My Call at Pontefract last night, and he's selected two candidates to wager with on Saturday...
"We know he likes the stiff finish here and handles quick and soft ground. He'll be fitter for a recent spin in a 0-105, a fairly hot contest in which he never got involved and not subjected to a hard race on comeback."
15:55 Curragh - Amazing Maria
On a terrific afternoon of racing in Ireland on Saturday, I'm drawn to the Group 2 race over 1m, and backing the filly Amazing Maria one or two ways might yield a profit.
The 4yo looked a really decent juvenile when winning a race at Goodwood in her younger days, but in three starts last year she completely bombed out. She held Classic entries and actually ran in Taghrooda's Oaks, but it was a disaster in 2014 in truth. She left her previous trainer Ed Dunlop and has joined David O'Meara - and we know what a master he is at revitalising horses that seemingly have gone at the game.
Her first start for the yard was vital recently, a comeback at Ascot in a good handicap. The main conclusion from that was she showed she still had ability - travelling nicely, if a touch wide, and matched at 2.3 in-running. She of course has to improve on that, but her wellbeing was the main thing.
This could be anyone's race and I don't think it's a Group 2 with depth. The options are playing her win and place or using her as a trade to garner a decent position in-running.
I was rejected by Salisbury College Of Art in my youth, but I won't hold that against the Wiltshire venue - because it's a track I like to bet at. Whilst reminiscing about days gone by, Highland Castle won over course and distance in 2011 and looked to have real talent (but quirky) as an upcoming stayer.
I have empathy with the horse, as both our careers have wandered down different routes since Salisbury, and he never quite fulfilled that early talent. However he's taking a big drop in grade on Saturday evening. He's actually one of two runners with back class here, the other being Viking Storm.
'The Castle' is now a seven-year-old and is racing from his lowest ever mark of 85. Yes he's top weight, but he has Tim Clark claiming five and I'm a believer in trainer form - with David Elsworth's horses going well (four wins from 11 runners at the time of writing).
We know he likes the stiff finish here and handles quick and soft ground. He'll be fitter for a recent spin in a 0-105, a fairly hot contest in which he never got involved and not subjected to a hard race on comeback.
Saturday's Recommended Bets
Back Amazing Maria win @ 9.08/1 and place 2.407/5 in the 15:55 at Curragh (0.5 pt on each)
Back Highland Castle @ 6/1 in the 19:40 at Salisbury (price on Sportsbook)
Weekly P + L (one point each bet excluding advised in-running trades)
+ 1.5 pts
Previous seven day P/L -0.13 pts