Today’s Horse Racing – Wednesday 31st August

Southwell 2.20 – Southwell Golf Club Handicap (5f)

This looks to be an open race on paper. Income sports blinkers for the first time and heads the market after a good effort when beaten 1l into second at Wolverhampton last time.

High Velocity can’t be ruled out is back close to his best, while the Catterick form of Instinction last time suggests that she, too, could have a big say here if able to kick on again.

Resilience represents a stable going well and took a step back in the right direction at Doncaster last time, so can’t be discounted but preference is for ASTRAL BEAT.

William Knight is another trainer whose runners are in good form and this three-year-old has already won over this trip on Tapeta at Newcastle in May, when 7lb lower.

He also went close when just 2lb lower at Lingfield (5f, Polytrack) in June and he was a shade unlucky when not getting a smooth passage at a vital stage at Wolverhampton (5f, Tapeta) last time.

A 2lb drop won’t harm and he can take advantage of that by getting his nose in front again under the excellent Richard Kingscote.

Southwell 3.50 – EBF Fillies’ Handicap (1m4f)

Five of the six in this line up have the 3yo weight-for-age allowance, which theoretically gives them the edge over the only four-year-old in the line-up, TUSCON CLOUD.

However, the selection represents a bit of value at around 9/2 as a result and that is part of the reason for giving her the nod over the remainder.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock appreciates slow ground on turf and this surface should therefore not inconvenience her.

She scored over 1m2f (soft) at Leicester in May, when just 3lb lower. However, she ran that day as if further would suit her and it was clearly a big disappointment when she ran no sort of race at Newmarket (1m4f, good) on her only subsequent run.

Connections could offer no explanation for that lesser effort and sometimes it is best just to draw a line under it and move on. She’s been given over two months before being brought back to the racecourse and that can pay dividends here.

If she can get back to the level of form of that Leicester success, then she could still be well treated and she is taken to score.

 Lingfield 3.00 – Follow @attheraces On Twitter Novice Stakes (1m4f)

A field of nine has been declared for this and on official ratings there is little to choose between Treble Joyand NAVAL COLLEGE. However, the latter’s form has hinted at slightly greater potential and he is taken to break his duck.

The three-year-old is in the care of Sir Michael Stoute, who has elicited improvement from the gelded son of Dartmouth in all three of his starts to date.

The latest of those came at Yarmouth in May, when he was upped in trip to an extended 1m3f (good). He raced prominently that day and, although he was no match for the winner, he had the measure of his remaining 10 opponents.

Her Majesty The Queen’s horse could have gone handicapping, having had three runs but Stoute clearly feels there is a maiden to be won with him. He returns from a summer break and if he can pick up where he left off in the spring then this looks a good opportunity.

His chief opponent Treble Joy is also an improver. He ran well over C&D last time, when only the favourite proved too good for him. That level of form was not as strong as the most recent effort of the selection, so Gary Moore’s gelding is likely to need a significant amount more to win this. He may have to wait for other days.

Of the remainder, Star Legend has a lovely pedigree and could come on plenty for a fairly quiet debut at Nottingham earlier in the month.


Worcester 5.10 – Worcester Bosch 60 Year Anniversary Handicap Chase (2m½f)

Last year’s winner Admiral’s Sunset returns for another go on precisely the same mark from which he won last year. As a result, he has to be much respected.

However, we do appear to know the ceiling of his abilities, which may not be the case for either Shareef Star or SEA PRINCE.

The former was a decisive 7l scorer from the latter at Bangor (2m1½f, good) in July and is now just 2lb worse off with his reopposing rival. Those of you who want to stick with Peter Bowen’s runner, as a result, then your point of view is perfectly understandable.

He lost little in defeat when returning to the north Wales track last time and, after a 6lb rise, was beaten by just under 2l.

In the meantime, however, Sea Prince went to Stratford (2m1f, good) and made all, posting an improved effort to beat his field by 14l and more. He is up 7lb as a result of that but if he could repeat that performance then he would still look well treated from this revised BHA mark of 122, and he still has the scope to step up on it again. He is preferred.


Worcester 6.10 – Get Pulling with P J Nicholls Ssangyong Handicap Hurdle (2m7f)

The open nature of this contest is underlined by the fact that four of the seven runners will start here having won last time out.

Imperial Knight is perhaps overpriced at 7/1, having won two of his last three, albeit the more recent of those coming here over fences in a match. Reverting to hurdles, there has to be some question as to his ability to find a bit more, which he looks likely to need, to win again.

Landen Calling was the 22l winner of a novices’ handicap hurdle at Market Rasen (2m7f, good) when last seen in July. That was an improved effort but the handicapper hasn’t missed it, raising the Fergal O’Brien-trained grey by 11lb as a result. Even so, he is unexposed, stays well and looks a big player.

Red Happy returns to this sphere having enjoyed a comfortable chase success at Bangor (3m, good) last time. Trainer David Pipe looks as though he is trying to take advantage of what is now a 5lb lower hurdles mark with his 5yo, who have only raced twice over the smaller obstacles.

He can’t be ruled out but preference is for THE TURTLE SAID. Neil Mulholland’s improving gelding arrives seeking a hat-trick, having won his last two starts at Uttoxeter and Worcester (both 2m4f, good).

His latest effort was with the benefit of a 10lb claimer but he could hardly have been more impressive in how he slipped the field late on and came home strongly. This extra three furlongs looks right up his street and he gets in here with a feather weight, of which he can take full advantage and win again.


Hamilton 6.25 – Live Betting Odds Pro 2-Y-O Series Final Nursery Handicap (6f)

This Class 2 race looks likely to be well contested, despite the small field but the pre-race market leader COCO JACK looks worthy of that tag and can get back to winning ways here.

The George Scott-trained gelding won back-to-back novice events at Beverley (7½f, good) and Brighton (7f, good) in the space of four days in July, the latter under a penalty.

Not disgraced despite being the last of three in a Newmarket nursery next time, the last time we saw him he was a close fourth in a Class 2 event at Glorious Goodwood (7f, good to firm). Both the runner-up and the fifth that day have given that form a very solid look to it, enhancing my confidence.

Further weight to Coco Jack’s chance comes from the way he travels. He made all for both of those July successes and he does not look short of the speed necessary to make the successful return to 6f here, so for me, he is a confident choice.


Hamilton 7.25 – Horse Racing Tips Fillies’ Handicap (6f)

A field of just six goes to post for this 0-80 contest. ELEGANT ERIN is officially the best in the line-up and she can underline that with a win.

Paul Midgley’s mare ran up a hat-trick at Beverley, Carlisle and Pontefract earlier in the season, improving 16lb in the process.

She had been beaten from her current mark of 81 twice since then but she went close when third of four in a Newcastle fillies’ handicap (5f, AW) last time out and if she is able to reproduce her best then her class can see her through. She also acts on slow ground, which is a definite plus.

Iris Dancer represents Tristan Davidson, who has an excellent strike rate with the few he turns out on the Flat and she is respected, although Emeralds Pride, who can usually be relied upon to run her race, may be the one to go with for forecast punters.

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