We have betting interest in four races today on the Knavesmire, including a 33/1 selection in the Dante Stakes at 3.00pm...
Fendale has not been seen since February, so fitness is a bit of a question mark here for Bryan Smart’s charge, but the 7yo has a good record of running well fresh and also has some solid form at York. His pair of Newcastle efforts after Christmas suggest he could be improving and I’m interested to see what he can do back on the turf, off a low weight and a workable mark of 87. Poyle Vinnie rather likes it around here too and he looked at his imperious best at Chelmsford last time out, where he rather toyed with a pretty good Class 4 field. A 4lb penalty may not be enough to stop him going very well again if he’s in the same mood.
3.00 - Nayef Road E/w 33/1 @ Unibet
Too Darn Hot is stepping from 7f to 10f after an interrupted prep and there’s no guarantee of his overall well being or his ability to stay the trip. He may just be miles better than this lot. If so - fine. The likes of Surfman, the impressive Telecaster and unexposed Japan are all open to improvement in this grade and have to be respected, but all told it is difficult to separate them. On his recent Newmarket effort (RPR 109, Topspeed 89), Mark Johnston’s Nayef Road is in with every chance of penetrating the top three. He was afforded a good ride from the front under Silvestre De Sousa, but there was a lot to like about the way this chestnut pulled away to the line, he stays really well and hopefully can mix it in this sort of company.
3.35 - Hayadh 16/1 with Bet365
This handsome grey showed a good attitude to land the Thirsk Hunt Cup last time out and looks quite well treated off just 3lb higher to follow up with another big run here. The 6yo Oasis Dream gelding is reported to come out of that race bouncing and he looks a little overpriced at 16/1.
4.05 - Shades Of Blue E/w 7/1 with Bet365, double stakes
Soldier’s Call is the best horse in the race here and 2/1 available could look big after the race, but he isn’t the most reliable chap. Garrus looked really good at Nottingham the last day and clearly appreciates fast ground, while No Nonsense stayed on well to finish 2nd behind Calyx last time out. So this is a hot little Listed affair, but in receipt of 5-10lb from the mentioned boys, perhaps Shades Of Blue can show some improvement for her seasonal debut over 6f now she’s stepping back to the minimum trip. The Clive Cox trained filly is lightly-raced and definitely has a touch of class.
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