Monday's Talking Points: Simon Crisford flying; new test for Oakley Brown

Find out what's caught our eye today
Find out what's caught our eye today

Ben Coley takes a break from being a slightly out-of-form golf tipster to look at Monday's racing talking points.

Simple for Simon

Simon Crisford has his string in roaring form to end the season, 10 winners over the last fortnight helping towards a strike-rate of around 40 per cent, and his runners are therefore worth keeping an eye on with four to start the week.

First to go at Windsor is Stanhope, and while his form this season has a decidedly underwhelming look to it, he's dropped to a good mark as a result and it's interesting that Crisford re-employs the visor in place of cheekpieces.

Stanhope's sole win to date came in a first-time visor and his best run since came in first-time cheekpieces, so perhaps the change of headgear will trigger an improved performance from a horse who has been lightly-raced since joining the yard this year and probably has another handicap in him off this sort of mark.

Headgear could also be key to Affina in the last, as this consistent but frustrating three-year-old looks to find the small improvement needed to get her head back in front, and Crisford's runner in the earlier maiden ought to go well, too.

With Double Kodiac also holding solid claims in the 6.45 at Kempton despite being asked to concede weight, it could be another profitable day for a yard ending an excellent season with a real flourish.

Trainer Simon Crisford
Trainer Simon Crisford

Musselburgh waves goodbye

It's the final day of the Scottish Flat season and there's a quality seven-furlong handicap worth £20,000 at Musselburgh, where Muntadab goes for back-to-back wins in the race.

Roger Fell's horse produced something like a career-best at Newmarket two starts back before a rare dip into Listed waters, and he's the one to shoot at despite a mark of 102 - that's 5lb higher than the rating from which he made all here in 2017.

Understandably, Fell claims 7lb with the promising Oakley Brown and Muntadab's form figures when they've taken something off him in the past read 4-2-1, the latter coming two starts back under Cameron Noble.

Brown, a just-turned-17-year-old whose finest hour so far came in the Ayr Bronze Cup for boss Richard Fahey, knows chances to win further pots like this one may be few and far between as he'll struggle to make the weights required of a Flat jockey given his height.

Perhaps, then, Brown will be back here at Musselburgh riding a winner over hurdles in time. For now, here's another new challenge: get the fractions right aboard the favourite in the big race of the day.

Muntadab
Muntadab shoulders top weight at Musselburgh

Raising a glass

It's the penultimate Windsor meeting of the season on Monday and this one is dedicated to celebrating the life of Ben Woollacott, a deck hand who died in 2011 when working on the Woolwich Ferry, aged just 19.

Woollacott hailed from a long line of Thames watermen and one of the new vessels set to ferry people to the races and beyond will be named in his honour, a fitting tribute which has been welcomed by his father, Steve.

"We often hear the Woolwich Ferry calling up so we'll always hear Ben's name when they make their river crossings," he told the BBC.

The opening race has also been named in his honour, and the purpose of the afternoon is worth keeping in mind - especially if you're on the wrong end of a Windsor hard-luck story as the curtain begins to draw on another summer of racing at the popular track.

Here's to making it there for a sunny Monday evening next summer, perhaps aboard the Ben Woollacott.

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