Joe Nordoff sits in the pundit's chair on Monday. Here he provides his best bets.
"The race contains a number of last-time-out winners including Eilean Mor and Harrison’s Cave, but they may have to settle for minor honours behind Alan Swinbank’s Stanarley Pic."
Hamilton's feature on what otherwise rates as a pretty average card is the competitive sprint handicap over six furlongs at 16:40, and I think Bajan Bear could be the answer to add another to his tally for the year. He wouldn't be the first sprint handicapper to enjoy an upturn in fortunes for the switch to the Dandy Nicholls yard, already enjoying a fruitful campaign scoring at Nottingham and Carlisle, before finishing first home in the disadvantaged far side group in Ayr's Bronze Cup earlier this month. The handicapper has been keen to burden him with a further 2 lb rise on the back of that solid effort, but it is well-documented that a sprinter in form can often take weight rises in their stride, and with Bajan Bear's consistency hard to knock he rates the one to side with. Classy Anne and more notably George Rooke appealing plenty for each-way purposes.
Today's second selection is also at Hamilton, and comes in the concluding handicap at 17:10. The race contains a number of last-time-out winners including Eilean Mor and Harrison's Cave, but they may have to settle for minor honours behind Alan Swinbank's Stanarley Pic. The son of Piccolo had generally acquitted himself well in some fairly useful three-year-old handicaps this term, prior to breaking his duck with his sights lowered over the 11-furlong trip here last week, in the process suggesting this slightly longer trip would easily be within his range. Furthermore this appeals as an astute bit of placing by his trainer, and whilst a penalty will of course make things that bit tougher, this rates an event lacking in the depth of the competition he has faced for most of the year, and with his yard continuing in fine form it is hoped Stanarley Pic can sign us off with a winner.
Both at Hamilton
Back Bajan Bear in the 16:40
Back Stanarley Pic in the 17:10