Kelso and Windsor previews: Our Thomas can cash-in on class drop
David Metcalf | April 11, 2016
Our Thomas ticks all the right boxes
Our Thomas can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to wining ways in the 2m 2f novices’ hurdle that opens proceedings on today’s card at Kelso (14:10).
The Tim Easterby trained gelding was a useful maiden on the level and showed a good attitude when making a winning debut over the obstacles at Wetherby back in October.
Our Thomas made good headway from off the pace to thrown down a challenge at the last and dug deep on the run-in to get the better of The Lampo Genie by a short-head.
It was a taking performance which suggested the four-year-old would be capable of winning plenty more races, and Our Thomas backed it up with a solid a four length third to Leoncavallo in a Listed contest at Wetherby.
The winner is a useful sort, and the runner-up Sceau Royal has won three-times to be rated 141.
That is extremely strong form in the context of this contest, and Our Thomas has since gone on to finish runner-up twice before failing to shine in the ultra-competitive Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
This class 4 contest is far easier, and looks a golden opportunity for Our Thomas to get back in the winners’ enclosure.
Mysteree looks the answer to handicap chase
In the 3m 2f handicap chase (15:40), the progressive Mysteree looks the one to beat now eased back in grade.
The Lucinda Russell trained gelding has won two of his four starts over fences, with the last of those successes coming at this course off a mark of 119.
Mysteree has since gone on to finish a cracking fourth of 17 in the class 2 Eider Chase at Newcastle off 121, jumping well in the main and sticking to the task well.
The eight-year-old is able to race in this lower grade class 3 contest off an unchanged mark, and that gives the son of Gold Well major claims from a handicapping perspective.
Mysteree also remains unexposed over fences and open to further improvement, and has the services of Grant Cockburn in the saddle who is terrific value for his 5lb claim.
14.10: Our Thomas (NAP)
14.40: Kai Broon
15.40: Mysteree (NB)
16.40: What A Dream
17.10: Chain Of Beacons
Pastoral Star weighted to shine at Windsor
Pastoral Star caught the eye on her final start last season and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open her account in the 1m handicap on today’s card at Windsor (15:50).
Trained by Hughie Morrison, the filly has only had four starts and showed imrpoved form in the last of those when fourth on soft ground at Goodwood over 7f.
Pastoral Star showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders before before keeping on under tender handling to be beaten 4 1/4 lengths.
The daughter of Pastoral Pursuits finished 1/2 a length in front of the fifth home Lee’s Hall, and now meets that rival on 2lb better terms.
Judged on that effort an opening handicap mark of 63 looks exploitable, especially with the step up in trip looking sure to suit.
Runners from the Morrison yard also often improve significantly when going down the handicap route, and the booking of Oisin Murphy to do the steering is another plus.
Murphy has a strike rate of over 28 per cent when teaming up with the stable in the past 12 months (six winners and two places from 21 rides), and his presence in the saddle suggest connections mean business.
Sir Roderic can rise to the occasion
In the other 1m handicap on the card (16:20), Sir Roderic looks decent value to open his account.
The Rod Millman trained gelding showed clear signs of ability in two of his four runs last season, including when a 1 3/4 length fourth of 14 at this venue.
Sir Roderic also ran well when fifth of 13 to Muntazah in a competitive maiden at Leicester, where he finished just a length behind the fourth home Royal Reserve who has won since and is now rated 75.
That form reads well in the context of this contest and suggests Sir Roderic’s mark of 67 should be exploitable.
The son of Roderic O’Connoer looks the type who should have more to offer as a three-year-old, and hails from a yard whose runners have been performing well in recent weeks.
13.50: Mr Scaramanga
14.20: Justice Angel
14.50: Rex Bell
15.20: Uncle Dermot
15.50: Pastoral Star (NAP)
16.20: Sir Roderic (NB)
16.50: Top Diktat
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