Today’s Horse Racing – Friday 26th August

Friday selections

Hamilton 5.10

This looks a race in which an eye on the market will be well worthwhile. Without that knowledge I’m siding with ROYAL ATHENA, who caught the eye on debut at Kempton and may find enough to get the better of Venetian, whose form makes him a good yardstick in the contest.

The selection is a half-sister to four winners and, after being slow to get going on debut, she came home well to be 2l third in a fillies’ maiden. I think she can build on that and score this time.

Venetian goes up in trip and, having been thereabouts in all three starts, may be able to pull out more, so he is not ruled out.

Artisan Dancer looks the pick of the newcomers on pedigree, being a brother to two winners and a half-brother to four more. Like Venetian, he is trained by Charlie and Mark Johnston and a big debut run would nor surprise.

Hamilton 5.43

This is an interesting race for it’s class with last-time winners Breckland and Retirement Beckons but likely to be big players again. Jim Goldie’s pair Ayr Poet and SHINE ON BRENDAN are others with chances and it’s the latter who just gets my vote.

The five-year-old is a C&D winner who handles these conditions. He produced a career-best to win at Ayr on his penultimate start and again ran well in a better race at Doncaster last time.

Back down in grade, he looks capable of getting back on track with another win.

Stablemate Ayr Poet has won twice here over 1m1f and he is tried in headgear here for the first time in around three years, so that may help eek out a bit more. He is much respected.

Breckland is penalised for a comfortable Musselburgh win on Wednesday but now has a 5lb claimer up to help negate that. He is also shortlisted.

Hamilton 6.18

A competitive contest in prospect here and the suggestion is to stick with CANTERBURY BELL, who arrives in great form and may not have finished winning just yet. Pink Carnation may be able to get back on track and would be a danger if doing so, while The Flying Ginger and Typical Woman are not ruled out.

My pick has won three of her last four starts (dead-heated latest in first-time cheekpieces) on a variety of ground. She’s gone up 4lb for that latest effort, but the front pair were 6l clear, giving hope se can defy this sort of rise. Blinkers now go on and that might just give her a bit of added impetus.

Pink Carnation was beaten almost 10l when a 33-1 chance in the Sandringham last time out but the form of her prior Nottingham maiden win has been franked and she may be able to kick on again now involved in a much smaller field.

Flying Ginger has been on the slide this season, with the possible exception of a Listed third at Pontefract in June. He drops to his lowest mark since winning a York nursery in October 2020 and could still be a big player if cheekpieces help.

Don’t rule out Typical Woman either. She enters calculations based on two of her runs this season, the latest a third at Sandown and she may still have more to come.

Thirsk 1.15

This looks an open race, with the likes of Polam Lane, Yazaman and DREAMCASING all likely to be involved at the business end and I’m siding with the last-named to get back on track.

He showed improved form when the runner-up here over C&D (good) on his reappearance in June. Hopes were high at Catterick when stepped up to 7f last time but he missed the break there and was unable to build on his prior run on that sharp track.

Back over the same track and trip as his previous effort, he is taken to take a step back in the right direction and score.

Polam Lane looks a danger. He’s won three times over this trip on good or fast ground. He went close from this mark last time and if he can perform to something like his optimum he should go close.

Yazaman is another to note. He carries topweight and is a former William Haggas inmate. He was backed on his debut for current trainer Kevin Ryan, when tried at Doncaster but disappointed there. He’s another 3lb lower here and, given that confidence last time, can’t be ruled out.

Thirsk 3.30

Plenty of these arrive in good nick and it looks open. However, AIR TO AIR is still going the right way and is taken to defy topweight.

He’s won three times already from 7f-1m and posted a career-best when a close second of four at Doncaster on fast ground last time; the handicapper has left him on a mark of 95 going into this and I think he looks capable of taking advantage.

Carnival Zain travels well in his races and has already got four wins to his name this season. He went close again at Carlisle last time, for which he has gone up 1lb and enters calculations for this race, now dropping back in trip.

The three-year-olds continue to receive their age allowances in this contest and the likes of Admiral D and Persuasion could be heavily involved from that cohort. The latter has been very consistent this season. He’s up 3lb for a close third at Doncaster last time and should be on the premises.

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