Teaplanter looks at Saturday's racing and he has bets advised on Sizing Coal at Punchestown and Arabian Comet at Goodwood.
Goodwood 2:15 - Arabian Comet
Arabian Comet ended last season with a slightly below par display at Doncaster when 5th to Slick Sari, but it is possible that she was over the top at that stage, on her 7th start of the campaign. She had looked very progressive before that with a handicap victory at Ascot and then running blinders at Goodwood and then when very unlucky at York, where she was ridden with too much restraint back over 12 furlongs.
She looked rock solid in that Doncaster contest and well worth her rating of 104, but she ran quite flat and never showed the same spark that she had on her previous starts. However after having the winter to strengthen up and develop further, she now returns in this listed contest and we would be very hopeful that she can take further steps forward this season. She will almost certainly want further than 12 furlongs to be seen at her best this season, but hopefully Pat Cosgrave will be more alert to these stamina requirements and he will make more use of her here.
She is a previous course winner, so there should be no issues regarding the track and although there are a number of potential improvers in the field, sich as Jordans Princess and Criteria, Arabian Comet looks a solid each way selection in this contest. William Haggas has not quite caught fire yet, but his horses are running well enough and 6/1 looks very fair about this daughter of Dubawi here.
Punchestown 3:10 - Sizing Coal
The ground at Punchestown could have changed significantly by the time racing takes place today as there is a lot of heavy rain in the area. This will make this 3m6f contest a real war of attrition, with ground possibly softer than it was for the Irish Grand National nearly 4 weeks ago.
It was Thunder and Roses that prevailed that day and many of the horses that fought out that finish return for another battle here. However although Thunder and Roses won, it is the Jim Dreaper trained Sizing Coal that is of much greater interest here. The son of Presenting ran a super race given that it was his first try over marathon trips and it is possible that his stamina was being preserved by Johnny Burke until the closing stages of the contest. It turned out that it was more a lack of tactical pace rather than stamina that contributed to his defeat, as he stayed on very strongly in the straight, to make up a huge amount of ground. He was only beaten 4.5 lengths in the end and it is likely that he would have emerged on top if there had been an additional furlong.
He gets that additional furlong here, but although he looks to be 5lb better off with Thunder and Roses, David Mullins claims 5lb off the top weight and he is worth every bit of that claim. Despite this, it is Sizing Coal that might have the greater scope for improvement and carrying 10-12 on softening ground is much less of a burden.
He looks an improving stayer and could be well ahead of the handicapper yet. He is worth an each way interest at 17/2 with Betway and William Hill.
Punchestown 5:35 - Sort it Out
This might be the most competitive handicap hurdle of the week at Punchestown and it brings together Arbre De Vie who ran a super race in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham, only to finish out of the places in 4th behind Martello Tower. We also have The Saint James in the field and he was very unlucky when beaten at Aintree, after being the subject of a sustained gamble for much of the day.
In addition we have an intriguing contender in the shape of Monetaire, who could be well handicapped over hurdles, given that he is rated higher over fences and jumping has been an issue for him.
However the horse of interest here is the Edward Harty trained Sort It Out. Like many horses for his owner, he has been very progressive once he was allocated a handicap mark and he has run some excellent races this season. He won handicap hurdles at Punchestown and Leopardstown before contesting the County Hurdle last time and running a career best behind the easy winner Wicklow Brave. The manner in which he stayed on up the hill suggested that he would improve for the step up in trio and this 2.5 mile trip looks just what he wants now. He should have no problem with the ground and has a nice racing weight of 10-12. Bet365 and Paddy Power are paying 5 places each way and both go 9/1 about the son of Milan. He is worth backing at these odds.
Each way Patent:
Ladbrokes are best odds for these three selections in a patent and we are also advising the following.
0.5 points each way Patent