Ayr and Southwell previews: Yes Tom primed for repeat
David Metcalf | February 16, 2016
Yes Tom gets the verdict at Ayr
Yes Tom has an excellent record at Ayr and can further enhance it by landing the 2m 4f handicap chase there today (16.40) for a second year running.
The Stuart Crawford trained grey has won four and been placed on five occasions from 13 starts at the venue, with the last of those successes coming in this contest 12 months ago off a mark of 138.
Yes Tom went on to finish a fine second to Roi De Mee at Down Royal off an official rating of 141, but then failed to shine in his last three starts of 2015.
However, he looked as good as ever when making a winning return to action over hurdles at this venue last month when bolting up by nine lengths and has clearly been brought along with this race in mind.
Yes Tom is able to race in it off just 2lb higher than last year, and that makes the gelding look weighted to take all the beating on ground which will hold no fears.
Beer Goggles can cash-in on class drop
Beer Goggles has been given a chance by the assessor and looks decent value to open his account in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle that opens proceedings (14.20) now eased in grade.
The Micky Hammond trained gelding shaped with plenty of promise when placed in three bumper runs last season, and showed definite signs of ability in his first three starts over the obstacles during this campaign.
In the last of those at Wetherby, Beer Goggles kept on under tender handling to finish a never nearer 29 length fourth of 14 to Royal Vacation.
The winner is a useful sort rated 125, and the runner-up Bollin Ace has run well to be placed in four subsequent outings and is now rated 115.
That represents strong form, and suggests that Beer Goggles’ current mark of 100 is exploitable.
Although the five-year-old has failed to shine in two runs since going down the handicap route, they have both been in class 4 affairs and it would be no surprise to see him put in a much better showing now dropped down into class 5 company.
14.20: Beer Goggles (NB)
14.55: Danielle’s Journey
16.05: Bonzo Bing
16.40: Yes Tom (NAP)
17.10: Al Reesha
Clockmaker ticks all the right boxes at Southwell
Clockmaker can take advantage of a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways in the 7f handicap at Southwell today (15.05) now pitched back over his ideal trip.
The Conor Dore trained 10-year-old is on a losing run of 15, having not scored since landing a class 4 contest at Chester over 7f last June off a mark of 83.
However, the veteran has posted a series of solid efforts to make the frame on three out of his last four runs at this venue over 1m and 1m 3f and is now able to race in this class 5 contest off 72.
That is 11lb lower than when last successful and makes Clockmaker dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.
The drop back to 7f is also a big plus and could be the key to the gelding get his head back in front, as the son of Danetime has won seven of his nine career starts over it.
Clockmaker also has 50 per cent strike rate over course and distance, and everything looks in place for him to score an overdue and deserved success.
Fibresand specialist Ian’s Memory can strike again
Ian’s Memory has developed into a real fibresand specialist and can defy top weight to land the 7f handicap (15.40).
The Jeremy Noseda trained five-year-old is unbeaten in three runs at the track, and showed a good attitude in the last of those successes when digging deep to beat the thriving Air Of York by a short-head off a mark of 90.
Ian Memory rallied well and found plenty when asked, and as his previous wins had also been by narrow margins he looks the type that only just does what is required to get the job done.
That makes it hard to the handicapper to get to grips with the five-year-old, and a 4lb rise for that victory looks more than fair.
Although Ian’s Memory now has a career-high mark of 94 to overcome, he is clearly on an upward curve having won three of his last four starts and may well have even more to offer.
The son of Smart Strike has also taken to the unique Southwell surface like a duck to water, and Ian’s Memory looks one to keep firmly onside at what is a real specialists’ track.
14.00: First Excel
14.35: Carbutt’s Ridge
15.05: Clockmaker (NAP)
15.40: Ian’s Memory (NB)
16.15: Rain In The Face
16.50: Lifting Me Higher