“Don’t speak too soon!” That was the advice from a follower on Twitter this week after Clodhopper made it a hat-trick of decent-priced winning naps.
Save the winners for the Cheltenham Festival in other words!
We’ll try and do both and the quest to further build a Prestbury Park kitty continues with Prigsnov Dancer (2.50pm) and News Desk (5.05pm) at Lingfield tomorrow.
The local highlight comes at Doncaster where last year’s Grand National winner Ballabriggs is entered in the Grimthorpe Chase (3.25pm).
He looks more likely to run at Kelso, however, and West End Rocker looks the one to be with on Town Moor – assuming he takes up his engagement.
The 10-year-old is improving at a rate of knots in the latter stages of his career and the fact that he has course-winning form is another plus. The consistent Corkage (2.20pm) and class act Takeroc (4.35pm) would be two others to be interested in at Donny should they take up their engagements but while the all-weather card at Lingfield isn’t great, at least we know what is definitely running.
We also know is that it will take good performances to lower the colours of both Prigsnov Dancer and News Desk who look the best bets on the card.
Prigsnov Dancer isn’t a blindingly obvious fancy on paper, being quite an old horse as a seven-year-old and also from a pretty small stable in Garry Woodward.
But the jockey booking of the excellent Luke Morris suggests Woodward means business and while Prigsnov Dancer has gone up 6lbs for his win at Wolves last month there is every chance he is still chucked in off a mark of 51.
As a younger horse, Prigsnov Dancer was rated as high 75 and while no-one is saying he will reach those heights again he’s obviously got scope to win again off his current rating.
His trainer has also explained that his charge has had his problems but is now back “working like a dream”, hence why he won last time at 20-1.
He won’t be 20s tomorrow but with some okay animals, such as Dorothy’s Dancing, in opposition his price should hold up and if all stays well with Prigsnov Dancer he will probably go in again.
Likewise News Desk who is a more obvious choice for the classy John Gosden team in the Lingfield finale (5.05pm).
Put simply, Newmarket trainer Gosden doesn’t mess about with horses rated 66 which is the mark News Desk is on after readily winning on her handicap debut last time, which she approached with a rating of 60.
And, to be honest, it is a surprise that News Desk has only gone up 6lbs as she won pretty readily and the horse that she beat, Moment In The Sun, has hacked up since.
Tomorrow’s contest looks pretty woeful and it will be disappointing if News Desk cannot go in again under Robert Havlin before stepping up in class.
Tomorrow’s other English fare is from Newbury, where the Greatwood Gold Cup is the highlight (3.10pm) in which Aerial looks the obvious choice for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh.
He has some of the best form in the race, a nice racing weight of 11st 3lbs and is also entered at the Festival.
A Festival we can hopefully approach boosted by a few more nice winners.
Best of luck with your bets.