After a blazing early Summer, the evenings are beginning to grow darker, but not quite enough to halt some Autumn night cards on the turf, including an interesting card to get stuck into at Ffos Las on Wednesday night.
One jockey I’m keen on is Seamus Cronin, recently seen to good effect working for Richard Hannon. His 7lb claim very useful and won’t be around forever, which makes LONDON ROCK an interesting contender from the outset for the Ffos Las opener at 4.30pm. Add to that an Racing Post Rating of 70 and Topspeed figure of 63 (a standout TS figure in the field) from his 4th at Salisbury last time out and this 2yo has a big chance off a BHA Handicap rating of 70, for this 6f Nursery Handicap.
Cronin hasn’t been finding the much in the past few weeks, but he’s due a good run, the Hannon stable is in good form and any improvement from London Rock would see him run well on handicap debut.
At 5.00pm we have a 3yo Handicap over the same trip of 6f, so it will be interesting to compare the times over the trip on this card. This Class 5 contest has plenty of experienced horses, with no unexposed types taking their chance.
If he can repeat his Leicester form, Capla Demon will probably prove hard to beat in a race where his winning form last time out is one of the only things standing out. The David Evans trained GIVE EM A CLUMP may prove a bit of each way value. He won twice as a juvenile and has plenty of course experience, though does need to turn a corner in terms of performance.
A low grade Class 6 Handicap over 7.5 furlongs takes place at 5.30pm, where Tony Carroll’s SILVERTURNSTOGOLD can continue the fine form of the stable with runners sent to the Welsh venue. He has a 20% strike rate with horses at Ffos Las and this 3yo looks to have a decent chance at getting a win on the board and breaking his maiden tag at the ninth attempt. He ran a good 2nd in a Class 5 at Sandown last time out and this is a step down in grade, so he should run very well under Tom Marquand.
The 7f maiden at 6pm is more of a watching brief, with a few likely types making their debuts, along with a couple of horses having their second starts after showing a degree of promise first time out. Of those, House Of Kings just about sets the standard on his 3rd at Newbury for trainer Clive Cox.
Middle distance stamina is the order of the day in the 6.30pm Novice Stakes for 3yos, where Amanda Perrett’s Spirit Ridge is the likely favourite. The son of Nathaniel won handsomely enough at Catterick last time out, but the race was run in a modest time and he only had three horses to beat, so this will be a bit more of a test. Charlie Hills is another trainer with a really good record at Ffos Las, so Moon Of Baroda catches the eye in first time headgear, but the vote goes to WAR DRUM for John Butler. A son of Authorized, this had one run for Luca Cumani but made a nice reappearance first time out for Butler, over the course and distance last month. He has to give weight to younger rivals, but is lightly raced too and could have lots of improvement to come himself.
Richard Hannon could land a double at 7pm with the in-form BREXITMEANSBREXIT, an interestingly named filly who arrives in excellent form. She looks to finish off her races strongly over shorter trips, so this step up to 1m6f is an interesting opportunity. Altra Vita is the horse to beat for Sir Mark Prescott.
The closing one mile handicap at 7.35pm is an open heat stuffed with consistent but fairly exposed types, where the top of the market has several horses who’re difficult to separate… so why not take them all on? CAPTAIN MARMALADE has a bit to find to score, even off a lowly BHA rating of 50, but Jimmy Fox’s runner would have a good each way chance if bringing his best form to the table. He’s been showing one or two bright signs of late, so another step forward wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world and would be enough to bring him into the picture with Gary Mahon doing the steering.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.