Wednesday's SmartPlays come from the far-flung fields of Carlisle and Salisbury...
Rye House was only a head in front of Mon of Plenty that day, but the runner-up was in turn nine lengths clear of the rest and it could well be the case that a 7lb rise incurred by the winner won't be enough to stop him going in again.
It's arguably Carlisle's biggest day of the year, with both the Carlisle Bell and Cumberland Plate drawing attention to Cumbria as on no other day in the racing calendar. We're not touching either of the big races, though in the consolation race for the Bell, held at 15:00, Lockantanks represents a great bet. Largely progressive over the winter, the Michael Appleby-trained gelding looked to be right back in the swing of things when an unlucky third at Doncaster recently, hampered at a vital stage as he went down to Levitate and subsequent winner Ingleby Exceed. In off the same mark here (which is fully a stone lower than his official rating on all-weather), Lockantanks has leading claims to go two better.
We switch to Salisbury for our second selection, again foregoing the feature race in search of a winner. The 16:55 race over twelve furlongs contains a few interesting three-year-olds, but none that can match up to the promise of Rye House. He's something of a typical Sir Michael Stoute charge and, with that yard showing real signs of recovery in recent weeks, he has taken big steps forward this season, winning a handicap at Windsor last month. Rye House was only a head in front of Mon of Plenty that day, but the runner-up was in turn nine lengths clear of the rest and it could well be the case that a 7lb rise incurred by the winner won't be enough to stop him going in again.
We return to Carlisle for our closing selection, in their final raced scheduled for 17:05. On the face of it, Best Trip doesn't take much picking out as he's on a hat-trick, though the fact he's dropping back from seven furlongs (on soft ground) to five and is taking on Pitkin, who seeks a four-timer, has led his price to be bigger than might have been expected. Our advice is not to worry: speed has been the strongest characteristic in Best Trip's last two wins, while prior to that burst of improvement- which came about upon him joining Brian Ellison from Richard Guest- he'd looked a raw speedster. Throw in the fact that Pitkin has never looked the heartiest of battlers and Best Trip looks a storming bet.
Back Lockantanks @ 4.3100/30 in the 15:00 at Carlisle
Back Rye House @ 2.56/4 in the 16:55 at Salisbury
Back Best Trip @ 3.45 in the 17:05 at Carlisle
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