It’s relatively slim pickings across the day’s racing but we head north to Carlisle for the meet’s third race. With eight runners in the field this each way pick should offer decent value, and having had one big 9/1 winner and two second places in the last three weeks let’s hope there’s some more profit to be had.
This three-year-old gelding cost €65,000 as a yearling and showed some good form as a two-year-old. He won on his debut before being highly tried at Listed and Group 2 level and he runs in a Class 4 (0-85) handicap against his own age group today. He ran to a Racing Post Rating (RPR) between 81 and 84 in three highly competitive races last year and was officially rated as high as 87 last August. Today he goes off a mark of 75, having dropped 6lb down the weights for two runs last month, and he looks to hold good each way claims in this eight-runner race.
He was beaten by 2.25 lengths by the re-opposing Cottam Lane over this trip at Thirsk on his seasonal debut last month. Here, however, he meets him on 5lb better terms and has the benefit of a second run under his belt. He showed more last time, again over 5f, at Ripon 34 days ago, where quite a bit went wrong for him. He broke well enough from the gates before being bumped into by two different horses and squeezed out after about 50 yards, losing his good position and having to drop back to last place. He recovered, then coming to the final furlong and a half he had to barge his way out from behind, switching four-wide before doing his best work late. By then the front two had already gone for home and he eventually finished a running on 2.5 lengths, third of five.
His first two starts this season have been on Good to Firm, but his nice high knee action would suggest he might be better suited by today’s easy underfoot conditions. He did run well twice last year when “Soft” was in the official going description like it is here. He looks on a winning mark and his last 3 RPR’s have been progressive (64, 67, 71) while he has been dropping down the weights. The Ben Haslam yard have hit top form recently (Last nine days: 3-6, 50% Strike Rate) after a slow start to the season, and MACHO PRIDE should be approaching peak fitness on his third start back from a 165-day break.
This Roger Varian trained three-year-old colt cost £110,000 as a yearling and finished a progressive two-year-old season on a high, winning a Class 3 handicap at Nottingham on Soft ground over this trip last October. He then made a promising start to this season – off this 7lb higher mark – when finishing 3.25 lengths 3rd of 13 in another competitive Class 3 over this trip at York. That was on Good ground two weeks ago, having been sent off 100/30 joint favourite. He is entitled to strip fitter here, today’s easier underfoot conditions are in his favour and he is likely to be suited by this stiff 5f. He runs off the same mark as last time and can go close, but at short odds, giving 9lb to Macho Pride at his price, I would be on the selection every time.
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