THOMAS DARBY is worth a chance at 8/1 in the Veterans’ Qualifier that opens up a jam packed ITV show on Friday (1.35pm). A very smart hurdler, he’s very well in on his timber exploits. But his penultimate chase run is far from shabby, and his jumping has past muster when the ground is slow and opposition not too quick, both of which are the case here.
CAPTAIN TEAGUE should be very hard to beat at 4/5 in the Persian War (2.10pm). His bumper form is head and shoulders above anything achieved in this, and this trip and track look to make an ideal starting point over hurdles.
He’s also one of my Five To Follow for the season:
INQUISITIVELY can take the Cornwallis, the Future Champions’ curtain raiser at Newmarket (1.50pm) at 11/4. An impressive winner at the Ebor Festival, he really scampered clear on his first start for this yard. This field is barely stronger and, provided the ground doesn’t soften too much, he ought to take a bit of pegging back from what might be a good draw with the stalls far side.
SKELLET made such an impression when winning at Salisbury, she should be in with a decent chance of winning the Oh So Sharp (2.25pm) at 6/4. What was particularly impressive was how much she had learned from her debut and the extent to which Rossa Ryan was happy to let her get a view of the front early enough. She galloped away very willingly, and can step up again in a more honestly run race.
MATILDA PICOTTE looks the one at 2/1 in the Challenge Stakes (3.00pm). She’s run two outstanding races here, is especially effective with cut, and gets her ideal distance. Her performance at Doncaster looked particularly good on the clock, and if she reproduced rather than recoils, she should be very competitive.
SHADOW DANCE might be the answer at 8/1 to a tough Old Rowley Cup (3.35pm). He’s a shade inexperienced, but must be ahead of the handicapper, having been raised only nine pounds for laughing at a very solid low-80s horse at Haydock. This is tougher, but his pedigree and physique suggest he might yet be a whole lot better.
YLANG YLANG looks overpriced at 9/2 in the Fillies’ Mile (4.10pm). She ran a really nice bounce back effort in the Rockfel, as poorly positioned as Shuwari in a tempo led affair, but just allowed to come home nicely, looking for all the world as though she would come on a ton for the extra furlong.
URBAN OUTLOOK has a load more to offer in the staying race at York (2.40pm) at 4/1. A full brother to a champion in Hong Kong, and to a very smart stayer, he was value for a ton more than the margin for last time, snapping back on the bridle in classy fashion for a horse that needs a trip. Two siblings have shown their best form at the track, and he can take the step up in style.
CANDONOMORE is my pick at 13/2 in the valuable race for horses with stout pedigrees (3.15pm). I loved the debut effort, and his most recent run came behind sharper types on a speed favoring track. This will be right up his street, and he should come on for that.
NORTHERN EXPRESS has to be a major player at 7/1 in the mile handicap (3.50pm). Very solid at this track, he’d have gone quite close to winning at the Ebor meeting off this mark with any kind of clear run. He loves this autumn ground, and can easily be forgiven his run over an unsuitable trip in the Ayr Gold Cup.
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