Apologies for the radio silence over the last few days – I’ve been away on holiday at a remote outpost on the west coast of Scotland, and the nearest thing to horse racing has been watching the lambs skip about.
Hopefully it will act as the pause that refreshes, as it’s full steam ahead now for the main chunk of the flat season – Cazoo Oaks and Derby weekend leads itself nicely into Royal Ascot and then the Irish Derby.
Hold onto your hats, it’s about to get busy, (even more so than normal!)
Today sees plenty of mid-season competitive handicap, maiden and novice action in the mid-range of abilities, and chief among the horses on my radar are Kylie Rules in the Thirsk 6.10 and Way To Win in the Chelmsford 5.00, after their respective efforts when drawn away from the currently strongly favoured low draws at Redcar.
But for the main selection of the day, it is a horse with a not completely dissimilar profile to Kylie Rules, in that they are both well handicapped on the back-class that they have shown two or three years ago. The reason for their presence in lower-than-expected grades now, is fairly barren spells in 2019/20.
Three years ago, Settle For Bay was being readied for a winning tilt at the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. Fast forward three years, and he now is residing in this 81-94 Monkstown Handicap at 3.40 at Leopardstown, from a 15lb lower mark than he won the Hunt Cup off.
It has been a significant slide from grace, but at Dundalk over the winter and most notably at Cork last time out, there were sure signs that he was returning to much better form. At 11/1 with SkyBet, who offer five places, Settle For Bay is very much worth supporting to hotfoot it back into the winners’ enclosure.
Settle For Bay has form figures of 51440 at Leopardstown, most of which have come either in competitive handicaps or listed races, and he was a staying-on second home in the far side group over an inadequate 7f at Cork last time.
This 1m1f trip looks to be what Settle For Bay needs now, and given he has won a Hunt Cup over a stiff 1m, I can’t believe 1m1f at the Foxrock track wouldn’t be to his liking. Sometimes Leopardstown can be disadvantageous to his hold-up style, but a stiff southerly headwind and the presence of a few pace-setters, can hopefully see the classy Settle For Bay to best effect today.