Racing Tip Of The Day
Our Will Hayler looks back on a weekend of racing drama and singles out a tip of the day at Carlisle this evening.
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Tip of The Day: Circuitous - 7.15 Carlisle
Despite backing my usual collection of unlucky losers and ill-judged flops, I enjoyed the weekend of racing just gone.
Highlights included the four false starts for one race at Down Royal on Friday evening (one with a malfunctioning set of starting stalls and three subsequent efforts with a flag for those who hadn't completed the course and been withdrawn). False starts seem to plague Irish racing for some reason, but this was a particularly laughable effort - although I wouldn't want to apportion blame between the starter, the jockeys and some revved-up horses.
At Stratford, the end of the water jump was effectively signalled by the second controversial finish and disqualification within a couple of months. Opinion is divided as to whether the stewards made the right call, just as it was in the first case when Dolatulo when thrown out and then re-instated at a subsequent BHA hearing.
But despite a spirited defence of the water jump itself from managing director Stephen Lambert - and a defence based on welfare grounds is usually a good one - it strikes me that we are only going to get stuck in a loop on this one with variations on a theme.
On Saturday night there was a magical story of Salad Dodger's Greyhound Derby victory to entertain, while I was also thrilled to see The Grey Gatsby win the Prix du Jockey-Club in a fast time at Chantilly on a card that featured a couple of other notable winning performances.
But my favourite moment of the weekend came when Ryan Colley managed to get San Cassiano home in the closing amateur riders' handicap at York on Saturday.
At six foot two inches, Colley had never sat on a horse until he was 17, but his enthusiasm for the sport was what made the difference as he drove the winner out on what was - he announced afterwards - his final ride.
Living just a few hundred yards from the track in York's South Bank (the bit in which inebriated racegoers get lost as they try to find a short-cut back to the station/pub through the maze of terraced streets), this was the ultimate moment of joy in a public riding career marked by a constant battle against trying to force a 12st body into being a 10st jockey.
Trainer Ruth Carr explained that Colley had begged the owners for the ride at the track where he wanted to ride a winner more than anywhere else.
On to today's action and there's some decent racing for a Monday at Naas this afternoon and Windsor this evening.
War Envoy carries a lot of confidence from within the Ballydoyle camp and there will be some serious disappointment if he fails to book his spot in the Coventry Stakes line-up with victory in the Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes. However Richard Hannon has gone across and nicked a couple of these big juvenile events in Ireland before and I could see Kool Kompany giving him a scare.
In the following fillies' race, I've been waiting to see Beach Belle again ever since she made a winning debut on the opening day of the season at th Curragh and she is exciting, but I don't know enough about the opposition to put my money down.
So I'll keep it simple and stick with Circuitous in the 7.15 at Carlisle this evening, the ApolloBet Enhanced Racing Specials Handicap over six furlongs.
He came out firing at the first time of asking at this track last week when second on his reappearance and holds Klynch and Sunraider on that run.
Off a mark 4lb higher than that from which he took the Ayr Bronze Cup at the end of last season, this improving sprinter appeals as the type to win more races this year despite the handicapper doing his best to slow down the train. He stays seven furlongs, but is ideally suited by a stiff six and a little give in the ground - just what he'll be racing over here.