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Simon has worked as a racing journalist since 1994 and can be seen regularly on the award-winning Sky Sports’ channel At The Races, presenting live horse racing from the track and the studio. He is widely regarded as the leading expert on All-Weather racing, spearheading the coverage of the annual All-Weather Championships on At The Races. Simon will be contributing weekly articles on his best picks for the all weather action

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SIMON SAYS – My 3 Best Bets week 3

Morris lays down the gauntlet

Champion jockey Luke Morris has made a determined start to the third All-Weather Championships with five winners in the opening week, including a notable big race double on the opening day at Lingfield Park. Morris, who rode three winners in all, scored in the first Fast Track Qualifier of the season on Lamar in the Listed Fleur De Lys Stakes and took the feature handicap on Marco Botti’s progressive Crazy Chic.

Lamar’s deserved victory ahead of a possible trip to stud completed a Listed double for Newmarket trainer James Tate whose strike rate in the opening week was bettered only by fellow Headquarters handler James Fanshawe. He took the Listed Floodlit Stakes at Kempton on Wednesday with the improving mare Missed Call, who definitely stays in training.

Whilst Missed Call could emerge as a contender for the Marathon Final, Charlie Appleby’s Anglophile heads back to the track at Chelmsford City on Friday evening en route to another intended tilt at the Lingfield showpiece. The four-year-old only just failed to peg back Mymatechris in last season’s two-mile final and looks the one to beat back in a handicap on his first start since being given a summer break.

Meanwhile, the All-Weather Championships celebrated an international success at Wolverhampton in midweek when the German-trained Nice Story won a low-grade mile and a half handicap on the Tapeta. Rudolf Storp’s mare was given a fine ride by Jimmy Quinn to defy a mark of just 50 and might be able to follow up under a penalty at Chelmsford next week.

Appleby sprinter set to strike

Mick Appleby is a past master when it comes to improving other people’s cast offs and can strike again with the speedy LOUMARIN in the five-furlong apprentice handicap (4.35) at the Essex track on Friday. This filly made a promising start for the Newark handler at Wolverhampton last month but couldn’t maintain some searching fractions over six furlongs.

A fast ground winner on turf, her speed was blunted by soft conditions at Nottingham last time but I expect a much better performance back on the Polytrack. The former Martyn Meade runner won a Kempton nursery on this type of surface in September last year and the return to the minimum trip here, with talented stable claimer Ali Rawlinson on board, makes her the one to beat.

Bridge of sighs

Martin Smith’s three-year-old BRIDGE OF SIGHS has more going for him than most in the closing handicap (7.40) at Chelmsford on Saturday. He is relatively unexposed and has run with credit in each of his last two starts, firstly in a seller at Leicester and then when showing up prominently in a Salisbury handicap last month.

Well drawn in stall two for a horse who travels well, he remains open to improvement off a mark of 50 and is preferred to recent course and distance winner Rosie Crowe, who has been done no favours by a wide draw, posted out in box 15.

Sixties night at Chelmsford

Simon Dow, the Epsom trainer, has a good record at Chelmsford and can boost his statistics with SIXTIERS LOVE in the mile and three-quarter handicap (6.10) on Saturday.

She was unlucky to meet a well treated rival at Kempton last time but promises to appreciate the step up in trip and can defy a 4lb rise with Paul Hanagan an eye-catching booking. The three-year-old Percy Veer continues to go well and could give my selection the most to do with an 8lb weight for age allowance in his favour.

SELECTIONS:

LOUMARIN (Nap)
4.35 Chelmsford (Friday)

SIXTIES LOVE
6.10 Chelmsford (Saturday)

BRIDGE OF SIGHS
7.40 Chelmsford (Saturday)

Check out Simon’s trainer profiles and horses to watch in this seasons all weather Championships