Sky Sports Racing’s Elliot David is back with five horses to follow from across the action at Brighton, Chepstow and Windsor on Monday.
2.25 – Brighton
Having regrettably touted a classic racing cliché in a previous column when mentioning adage of backing horses at the top of the weights in a Nursery, it’s been encouraging to see that ring true this season. Of the 79 Nursery Handicaps in Britain so far in 2023, 41 have gone to horses in the top three of the weights – 52 per cent of the races.
Though we have just five runners here, it’s clearly a low-level race and Charlie Hills looks to have found a nice opportunity for his daughter of thriving sire Havana Grey on her Nursery debut.
Her racecourse debut was likely her best effort to date, running into fifth in a Windsor Novice where the front five pulled clear and those four closest rivals have done plenty to boost the form since.
You’d therefore think that, having found soft ground against her in a Goodwood Class 2 when last seen, Looby can turn a corner now entering a Nursery off just 62.
3.20 – Chepstow
Though you must respect the claims of two-time course winner Azahara Palace, the combination of a drop in trip and first-time hood is interesting for Marcus Tregoning’s daughter of Sir Percy.
Racing over 10 furlongs at Salisbury on August 17 off the back of a 250-day break, she took a keen hold in rear and could never get into the contest. Ultimately, she just ran too fresh and it’s not hard to see a drop back to the mile being to suit at this stage of her career with the hood hopefully helping to settle her in the early stages of her races.
Her previous best saw her progress with each run to finish third to the 86-rated Tarjamah and with Tregoning boasting a fine record with hooded runners she makes the most appeal at the prices in my view.
Her trainer strikes at a notable 24 per cent with hooded runners in the last 10 years to a level stakes profit of £53.46 to a £1 stake.
3.45 – Windsor
I’ve already given mention to the Nursery Handicaps angle, so I won’t bore you with that again. However, George Boughey’s Dandy Man filly Happy Tears is a qualifier and you can see a strong case for an improved performance now back on turf and tried in new cheekpieces.
Though she brought sound credentials to her handicap debut at Chelmsford on August 8, market weakness combined with a slow start saw her never really get into the contest as Ed Dunlop’s now 78-rated winner Grey Gray won well. It can be difficult to make up ground from off the pace at Chelmsford and given she conceded 4lb plus a rider’s claim I thought it was a respectable effort.
This stretch out to six furlongs and return to turf ought to suit, with cheekpieces applied likely just to sharpen her finishing effort. Champion jockey William Buick retains the ride and though both Tiora and Another Gift are worthy of respect, there are questions posed to both here on account of ground and a career high mark respectively and I’ll side with the top weight.
5.20 – Brighton
With the form of his Chepstow win on July 28 franked by runner-up Pavlodar, who could further back up that form in the 2.10 at Chepstow, Brett Johnson’s daughter of Invincible Spirit makes plenty of appeal here from just a 1lb higher mark. She took advantage of a drop in class that day, having ran well in an Epsom Class 5 and has another good opportunity here.
I’m hoping that rider Benoit de la Sayette can utilise her early speed from stall 1 to gain a prominent position and attempt to make all, something that suited her to a tee at Chepstow and she could be tough to peg back if getting rolling on this sharp track.
The receipt of plenty of weight from a key rival in Intercessor could just about swing it in her favour in my view, though a drop in class could clearly be the catalyst for John Gallagher’s four-year-old.
6.00 – Windsor
Following a promising Handicap debut when returned from a 220-day layoff against the colts and geldings, this filly really ‘bumped into one’ when beaten only by Karl Burke’s Quick Change at Haydock in June. With Quick Change now rated 17lb higher at 95 having gone on to secure black type with Listed placings, Five Towns looks potentially well treated off just a 3lb higher mark of 80.
This does look a competitive race, with Purple Love clearly of some appeal now in handicaps having broken her maiden and potential front-runner Sonemos also making appeal now returned to quicker ground.
I’m hoping with the inclusion of the speedy Transfer Affection, those three set a good gallop and Tom Marquand can deliver a ‘sit and pounce’ style ride.
Monday racecards | Latest Sky Bet odds
Watch every race from Windsor, Chepstow and Brighton all live on Sky Sports Racing on Monday, September 4.