June has been a very bumpy road so far and one that can’t be looked back on with much enjoyment so far. The great part of Horse Racing is that anything can change in a few days and a few races. With Royal Ascot next week, I’ll be hoping my form can turn around for the exciting five-day festival. For now, I am in desperate search for not only a winner, but some sort of continuity of form.
With the return of Irish Jumps racing at Clonmel, I am trying to get back to basics but circling in on the racing I love the most. It is a fairly ordinary card at Clonmel, but there are some good handicaps with value edges to have a look at and potentially some nice prices to be had.
I have just the one selection from the card, which comes in the competitive handicap chase at 4.40 over the extended 2 miles. It will be interesting to see the dynamic of this race, as Jack Holiday is usually an enthusiastic front runner, while other market principles Ciankyle and Ingleby MacKenzie usually like to get on with things as well. This style of running could lead to some of them taking each other on too early, and setting it off for something off the pace.
Those that know me well will know that I am more than partial to a Paul Nolan horse. I won’t back them blindly, however with the nick the whole stable is in at the moment, it would be prudent to examine whatever they are running with a fine eye. I have landed on Wild Desire in this race, who certainly looks as if she could be competitive in her first handicap over fences. She ran a notable race in third over this C&D back in December, when only finishing 10 lengths behind Epson Du Houx, who is a strong horse at a top handicap level. Her other chase efforts would also indicate that an opening mark of 99 over fences is a fair assessment.
There are always risks involved with backing a horse in her first handicap over fences, but I take a lot of faith in the fact that this mare has had a robust career in handicap hurdles. She has won twice in her time, both off lower marks than this – but she is off a low and lovely racing weight of 10 stone 9 pounds, which is aided by young Adam Williams taking 4 pounds off her back.
She is usually held up with a late run and if this race pans out the way I see it, she might be able to pick apart a pace collapse out in front at Clonmel, which is a deceptively stiff finish. At a price of 12/1 with Bet365 with 4 Places, I make her an each way selection.