For the followers of the Test Championship Final in Southampton, finally there might be some weather to savour on the south coast, and hopefully it produces a climax fitting of the occasion.
However, for today’s daily selection, I’m hoping that a sunny morning doesn’t dry out the ground too much at Salisbury 30 miles away, as in the 1.35 – Havana Grey Standing At Whitbury Stud Veterans’ Handicap over 6f, the usual soft ground route up the stands rail would be very much beneficial for Dark Shot.
At 11/2 each-way generally, Dark Shot is worth supporting from the highest of all stalls in box 10, as providing the current soft, good to soft in places turf still has sufficient dig in it, then Scott Dixon’s admirably consistent sprinter can be rewarded for some encouraging runs since a winter break.
When trained by Andrew Balding as a youngster, Dark Shot had four runs at Salisbury, and filled the runner-up spot on all three maiden runs at the track, before a decent fifth in a listed contest. So, despite being into his fourth season with Scott Dixon, and this being his first foray back to the Wiltshire track, it may evoke some positive memories for Dark Shot.
All four runs this spring/summer have been very creditable, as they have generally been against much better, younger and more progressive opposition. So, in dropping into this ‘veterans’ handicap, it may be that this sprightly eight-year-old can still make them all go, and at 11/2 I think Dark Shot is a cracking price each-way.
Elsewhere today, there is a competitive card at Carlisle, while some appealing looking sprint handicaps at Naas could present opportunities, as it’s often quite heavily draw dependant on the straight sprint track there.
Showers are forecast near Dublin today, and if they did materialise and the stands side high numbered stalls are advantaged, then Majeski Man at 25/1 could be a play in the 5.30. But until we’ve seen the two earlier races on the card, it might be hard to know for sure. One to keep an eye out for definitely…