Racing tip of the day
Bath, Lingfield and Gowran are under the microscope in today's preview with the tip of the day running at the first-named track.
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Today's preview and best bets
Charlie Appleby's horses have been running well in the last week with six winners from 16 runners complemented by two seconds and two thirds in the same period.
He isn't renowned for a stunning strike-rate at Bath, he's had just one winner there from nine goes in his fledgling career, but the Godolphin handler can improve those numbers this afternoon with DUBAI HADEIA in the Dribuild Ltd Fillies' Handicap.
The daughter of Dubawi showed very little in three maidens, but improved on those efforts when stepped up to 10 furlongs and unleashed in a handicap for the first time last run at Newmarket.
She did it well that day from a subsequent winner and has only gone up 4lb for her efforts. Cam Hardie's 5lb claim more than alleviates that burden and after a 40-day break she looks the one to be on.
At around 15/8 she won't make us rich, but she looks very solid and gets the nap vote.
There's turf action at Lingfield this afternoon too where the going is 'Good' and the forecast is dry.
Appleby again has a fine chance in the opening maiden with Charming Thought, a 4/9 chance on the back of a good second to Mark Johnston's Flash Fire who franked the form yesterday when second in a Goodwood nursery off a mark of 85.
That level of form should be good enough here, but a word of warning for odds-on backers: don't rule out Kinematic.
Andrew Balding has given Her Majesty's filly some time after a good third to juvenile cash machine Ivawood at Sandown 82 days ago. She was slightly hampered that day, the return to six furlongs on good ground will suit and she's respected after a break.
One that appeals at a bigger price is Hughie Morrison's Activation in the 188Bet Nursery Handicap at 15.00.
He's barely beaten a rival home in four starts but that doesn't tell the whole story. When he was fifth of five on his last maiden run at Bath he was only beaten three lengths and was strong in the market on his nursery debut, going off 4/1 at Kempton.
The Stimulation gelding only beat two rivals home, but he was far too keen over a mile and is worth another chance dropped back to six, returned to turf and with cheekpieces reapplied. Prices around 14/1 could well underestimate his chances in what is a low-level, wide-open heat.
Finally at Lingfield, no trainer has a better strike-rate on the turf track than Roger Varian who has had eight winners from his last 24 runners at 33% (+11.60).
His only runner at the course today is Ajaadat in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes at 15.30.
The filly is one of only two in the race with more than one run under her belt and she's the form pick. She can make her experience count against a posse of newcomers with John Gosden's Journey the pick of the unraced horses and William Haggas' once-raced Majestic Manner feared most.
Over in Ireland Gowran Park hold a seven-race card and all eyes will be on the Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combination due to their impressive strike-rate and the young jockey's faux pas at Wexford on Saturday.
Keane forgot to weigh-in after riding 13/2 chance Unrequited to victory, a costly error that saw him banned for ten days starting from Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown.
He hasn't ridden a winner since from only a handful of rides, but he has a couple of fine chances this afternoon.
First up is Cape Wolfe in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. (C & G) Median Auction Maiden and this son of Piccolo ran a good race at Fairyhouse last time when only beaten a length. He had today's rival Baldonnel behind that day and should confirm the form, with the extra furlong expected to play to his strengths now he has more experience under his belt.
But Lyons', and Keane's, best chance could well be Snowmane in the Next Meeting At Gowran Our Gr3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Stakes Day Handicap at 18.30.
The Qatar Racing-owned son of Galileo has run well on his last three starts, two of them over a mile and six and once over ten furlongs where he won. However, his optimum trip could well be the mile and a half he tackles this afternoon and the drop in trip, combined with the application of cheekpieces, could well see him return to the winner's enclosure.
He's an improving three-year-old against a bunch of largely exposed older horses and could be the one to improve the Lyons-Keane strike-rate (75% at Gowran this season, six wins from eight rides at +15.35, and 23% for the Irish Flat season, 32 wins from 141 rides at +18.40).