Battersea heads The Messenger Saturday Racing Bets.
York 2.35: Battersea
Roger Varian would not keep too many 7yo’s in training but Battersea remains with him and has dropped to a very favourable mark on a galloping track that should suit him.
Only last August he was only beaten 7l in the Ebor off 105 despite meeting considerable trouble in running down the straight. He then went on to place second in a decent conditions event at Salisbury. However since then he has had two races on the All Weather and two races over an inadequate trip on tracks that were surely too tight for him.
The handicapper has been kind and relented to the extent he is now only off 96, yet I thought he ran with credit at Chester last time, staying on when the race was all over over 10f. Fourth in the 2016 Ebor here, this race represents quite a drop in class and he should still have enough ability to take advantage.
Haydock 2.50: Simpson
Rather like at Chester last time, Simpson has been given a chance by a handy draw in one, given there is such a short run to a sharp turn. As a result I think he is grossly overpriced. He ran with credit to be third in that competitive Chester event and looks better off in a strongly run mile handicap than the 10f conditions event he previously ran in at Epsom. Yesterday’s rain won’t have done him any harm has he has winning form on a slow surface.
Goodwood 4.20: Melinoe
The presence of last year’s winner Top Tug has compressed the weights for this class 2 and means Melinoe can race off the minimum 8-2 here. On the evidence of her return run at Haydock two weeks ago, the filly remains well treated off just 86.
Luke Morris got in a bit of a tangle that day and was unable to get Melinoe out for a run at the leaders until very late and in the end she just failed to pull back Uber Cool in time. That form was well and truly franked by Uber Cool’s gutsy win here yesterday.
Melinoe already has good form here having finished second over this trip back in September and is admirably consistent. One worry is her tendency to hang under pressure, but she is big enough for an each-way play in case her wayward nature gets the better of her late on.
1.5pts win – Battersea – 2.35 York at 5/1 with 10bet and Sportingbet
0.5pts each-way – Simpson – 2.50 Haydock at 40/1 with Paddy Power
1pt each-way – Melinoe – 4.20 Goodwood at 9/2 with BetVictor