It may be the summer but there is still some great NH racing!

This week I think I’ve found one that would go close in a Summer Plate at Market Rasen as well as a horse who I think can bounce back when returning to handicap company!

Royal Village dropped 1lb to 130

Royal Village dropped 1lb for his 3rd placed effort at his beloved Market Rasen. I don’t think this was a bad effort over a trip that is slightly too far for him and  it was no surprise to see him just fade late on. He was beaten by 2 horses who came into the race in decent form and were sent off 9/2 and 5/1. Both also had fitness on their side and I would be very keen to see Micky Hammond return to Market Rasen for the Summer Plate again. Royal Village has now had 8 runs at Market Rasen with his form reading 24112363. His form over the 2m5f trip at Market Rasen reads 11236 with his most recent effort when 6th coming in the 2020 Summer Plate off 141. He was 2nd in 2019 off 137 so if he returned off just 130 he would surely go close if retaining his ability and after his 3rd recently over slightly too far, I think he does retain this ability. 

Ejtilaab dropped 1lb to 91

Ejtilaab is a bit of a tricky horse as he likes to jump out, go way too fast and get tired , or at least that he was doing over the 1m trip at Ascot on a couple of occasions. Connections found the plan with him when running at Chester and Chelmsford in the Autumn/Winter last year before returning this season. His opening 3rd at Musselburgh was a decent effort before he finished 5th at Chester when not able to get across and lead and thus costing him all chance. He needs things to go right but he can certainly win off 91 given the right conditions. I would like to see him at Goodwood next time out and allowed to bounce out and make all the running. There’s a 7f on Friday 21st May that would suit.

George Bowen dropped 1lb to 78

George Bowen dropped 1lb to 78 and looks dangerously handicapped having been as high as 106 in June 2019. He’s clearly not the force of old but has been showing a bit of form recently including when 4th at Ascot at the weekend despite racing on ground softer than ideal for him. He was well supported into 15/2 that day and I think connections know he’s still showing enough at home to suggest he can go very close soon. The ‘right’ horses were around him suggesting the form of the race was quite strong for it’s grade and he can back this up soon. The race I think he should run in next is at Doncaster on Friday 4th June over 6f2y. His form at the track is decent with his most recent run coming just 4 runs ago when he finished a never nearer 6th off 83. 5lb lower mark and with fitness under his belt, I would be confident of a big run.

Who Dares Wins dropped 1lb to 102

Who Dares Wins dropped 1lb to 102 after getting no run at Chester in the Chester Cup and that for me is a bonus 1lb. He’s now dropped from a 107 to 102 and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go close in another feature handicap soon. I think he’ll stick to the Queen Alexandra Stakes next time at Royal Ascot but after winning that race last year, the handicapper didn’t adjust his mark as he’s likely to be top rated or at least close to it anyway and it’s possible he could win it again and his mark not be changed. If that does happen then surely connections will be looking at the Marsh Cup at Newbury. He was a never nearer 4th in the Marsh Cup (ran in July) back in 2019 with the smart Withhold in front as well as the fellow long distance handicapper Coeur De Lion just in front in 3rd. I think Who Dares Wins could go close both at Royal Ascot and Newbury and would completely ignore his latest effort at Chester as he got no run. 

Indianapolis dropped 2lb to 91

Indianapolis dropped 2lb to 91 after failing to see out the Chester Plate trip and is surely going to be dropped back in trip next time out. I still think there is a good race in Indianapolis but maybe does need things to drop right for him. Once of his best performances of his career came when finishing 3rd at Goodwood behind Hochfeld (might have won Chester Cup with a clear run) and Shailene (won on her next run). Both of these 2 rivals are rated higher than what they were that day whilst Indianapolis has dropped 7lb to 91. This was Indianapolis only run at Goodwood and I think we could see him returning to Goodwood in the near future. Connections will surely want to be getting him back up the handicap so he can get into the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot so a big run next time is needed. The race that looks ideal to do this is on Saturday 22nd May over 1m6f. A repeat of his 3rd on his only course start now off his 91 rating, would see him go very close if recent runnings are to go on.


Laafy dropped 2lb to 101

Laafy dropped 2lb to 101 after never getting involved last time out in a race which suited those who raced prominently. This was a disappointing effort but I am prepared to give him a chance and think he could well bounce back when returning to handicap company off his now 3lb lower mark than the end of last season. Off 101, I think we are likely to see him in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot (won over CD in September 2020 off 101) and if he disappoints there, he’s likely to be dropped again and then the Old Newton Cup at Haydock comes into the reckoning. It’s a fairly straight forward campaign but if he turned up in both of these, I think he’ll go close in at least one of these!