2.10pm Epsom – Tavener 1pt Each Way (12/1)
Two wins from his last three starts, with both victories coming under today’s rider Andrea Atzeni, Tavener comes into this race in the form of his life. He’s versatile with regards to distance and he showed at Chelmsford last time that he certainly doesn’t lack the speed for 5f. He’s drawn to strike in stall 5 today and he’ll go from the front, which suits over the sprint distances at Epsom.
3.10pm Perth – Brandon Hill 2pts Win (7/2)
Tom George has won 3 of the last 7 runnings of this race and he holds a strong hand again this time around with Brandon Hill. His first three runs for the yard were all good efforts behind some decent rivals, he was disappointing last time out but that was over shorter so he can be forgiven that. He’s had wind surgery since that day and that should help him see out his race that bit better, so he can get his head in front for a deserved success.
3.55pm Epsom – Ajman King 2pts Win (7/2)
Roger Varian brought one of his big guns back to the track last weekend in the shape of Defoe, who was certainly ready to go and duly bolted up at Newbury. I’m not saying Ajman King is cut from the same cloth, but I feel he could play a big hand in Varian’s season as he looks a smart performer in the making. He showed strong form in maiden’s, particularly when splitting Century Dream and Crowned Eagle at Nottingham, he then won his maiden over today’s course and distance before making a mockery of his opening handicap mark of 85 at Doncaster. He won with any amount in hand on that occasion and he can make light work of an 8lb rise. I believe this is a 100+ rated horse, let’s hope he shows that here!
4.55pm Punchestown – Next Destination 4pts Win (7/4)
Next Destination lost his unbeaten record over obstacles in the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival, but he was behind the mighty Samcro and Black Op that day (who has since won a Grade 1). He was staying on strongly to the line and shapes as though this step up to 3 miles is exactly what he wants. The Ballymore sixth, Vision Des Flos, has finished runner up in a pair of Grade 1’s since then and the form is rock solid. He’s a classy animal and I can’t have Next Destination beaten here.
6.55pm Lingfield – Holiday Magic 2pts Win (9/2)
A consistent sort who ran in some ultra competitive handicaps last season and arrives here in good form following some decent efforts on Southwell’s Fibresand. He’s definitely capable of winning off a mark of 89 and the presence of Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle for the first time suggests that a big run is anticipated. He’s well drawn in stall 2 and not many of these like to go forward, I’d like to see SDS take the bull by the horns and make all.