Thursday Racing: Pontresina Fancied to Score5 min read
Confirmation yesterday that Sea Of Class has been supplemented for the Arc at Longchamp on Sunday at a cost of E120,000 although trainer William Haggas has voiced his concern over the prospect of the racecourse over-watering. There is the prospect of 7mls of rain to hit the track overnight on Saturday and the prospect of rain on top of watered ground is less than ideal.
Enable remains Evens favourite with Sea Of Class 3/1 and Waldgeist considered the best of the home challenge at 6/1.
Haggas’ saddles Algaffaal (2.20) in the first division of the mile maiden at Lingfield. The gelding has been off the track since disappointing at Carlisle on fast ground back in July, but his debut second to Mubhij on tapeta at Newcastle is fair form and he returns from a near three-month lay-off this afternoon.
Sir Mark Prescott replaces cheek-pieces with a first-time visor aboard Twister (5.05) who disappointed at Kempton last time but did win over C&D on his penultimate start from a 5lbs lower mark. Connections suggested the three-year-old had run flat with the race coming too soon after his previous win – 11 days – and he has been given over three weeks to get over his last start.
James Fanshawe’s Voluminous steps up to 2m for the first time but connections have been looking to step her up in trip since last month’s win here on turf from a 7lbs lower mark.
At Warwick Pontresina (2.45) improved on better ground earlier in the year and his third to Double Treasure at Fontwell last time was franked when the winner followed up in a decent contest at Newton Abbot later in the month. Oliver Sherwood has not had many runners of late, but his Captain Peacock was only beaten a short head at Worcester last time.
I’m looking forward to the chase debuts of both Knocknanuss and Maria’s Benefit (3.15) although the latter is a winning pointer who finished fourth in the Mares’ Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen back in March. She is likely to try and make all under Ciaran Gethings and is an exciting novice chaser.
I’m looking forward to seeing Dandridge (4.20) have his first start for Charlie Longsdon in the feature 2m 4f handicap chase. The nine-year-old was previously trained by Arthur Moore in Ireland and finished fourth in the 2017 Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival. This is not as strong a race as he normally contends, and it will be interesting to see what the market makes of his chance.
Soiesauvage carries a 7lbs penalty for winning at Uttoxeter last time but she is actually running from a 3lbs lower mark given she was 10lbs out of the handicap when scoring at the Staffordshire track last time. She must go close, but I hope to see the lightly-raced Hoponandsee (4.55) get back to winning ways reverting to the minimum trip.
The selection travelled strongly but failed to get home over an additional quarter mile last time for the father and son combination of Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.
At Clonmel Kuiper Belt (3.10) is 5lbs higher than when finishing first post the post at Listowel on soft ground last month in a valuable handicap on soft ground. He was subsequently disqualified and placed second, but this better ground and additional half-mile should suit. The four-year-0old has been on the go for some time but has had three weeks to get over his recent exertions. Davy Russell takes over in the saddle.