Keep An Eye On Storm Arising At Wincanton6 min read
The first leg of the Spring Double – the Lincoln from Doncaster – is the weekend highlight and Charlie Appleby’s Auxerre is the 9/2 market leader at BetVictor having been well supported at all rates from 10/1. The favourite was beaten at Newmarket on debut but has landed his last three – one on turf and two on the all-weather – and could easily make up into a Group horse this term.
Four-year-olds have won the last three renewals of the race and the Appleby yard have been in great form in Meydan of late and had a winner at Lingfield earlier in the month.
There is a good jumps card at Wincanton this afternoon and Secret Investor (2.45) is taken to get his chase career back on track after disappointing at Kempton last time. Indeed, the Paul Nicholls’ novice remains a maiden over the larger obstacles, but he receives 6lbs from main rival Jenkins today and has his optimum underfoot conditions.
The teenager Opening Batsman (3.15) has been tumbling down the weights and I feel he has shown more than enough in recent starts for the old boy to have one last hurrah. Harry Fry has his string in cracking form and it was wonderful to see Noel Fehily go into retirement on the back of a winner for the yard at Newbury on Saturday.
Pointed And Sharp fell at Sandown on his chase debut, but he actually jumped the fence well but buckled on landing. A market move would be worth noting.
There is a terrific novices’ handicap hurdle and the unbeaten juvenile Miranda will have her supporters for Paul Nicholls. I was impressed with the win of Not So Sleepy (4.15) over C&D last month and feel he may be well treated on his handicap debut despite the steadier of 11st 12lbs.
Vis A Vis made a terrible blunder on ground, arguably, softer than ideal here earlier in the month, but that should not detract from what was a very good performance from Storm Arising (4.45) and he can follow up in the finale for Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
It wasn’t young Cieren Fallon’s finest hour when Atomic Jack (3.30) was beaten by Navajo Star at Lingfield in a Hands’ and Heels’ event last time and Nicola Currie takes over in the saddle this afternoon. The selection is 1lb higher this afternoon and worse off at the weights with Atomic Jack taking into account the jockey’s allowance on the latter, but I feel George Baker’s four-year-old can reverse the form.
I am keen to take on likely favourite Gumball in the 12f Novice event despite his impressive win at Kempton on his first start on the level. Momtalik has been gelded since finishing last of three at Pontefract (soft) on his second start last term, but he looks sure to run a big race for powerful connections.
The vote, however, goes to Allieyf (4.00) who gave the impression this step up in trip to 12f would suit when runner up at Newcastle earlier in the month. The selection was a bit keen on that occasion and he should have the race run to suit with Gumball likely to go from the front. A draw in stall eight is not ideal but there looks to be plenty of dead wood in the contest.
At Wolverhampton Nice To Sea (5.15) has run a couple of good runs since being fitted with cheek-pieces by Olly Murphy and he is taken to go one better than when runner up here last time. David Probert keeps the ride and he has an excellent draw in stall four.
Distant Mirage (6.45) has the steadier of 9st 9lbs but I hope the application of first-time cheek-pieces can bring about a bit of improvement for James Tate’s three-year-old. The filly finished third at Lingfield last time and looks to be quietly progressive for her inform yard.
Nice To Sea