By Richard Hoiles
Finally the weather looks like it is settling down and this week it will be more of a case of looking for horses who will be suited by drying round rather than those who have recent form under much softer conditions.
The drop back to 6f looked to suit James Tate’s charge at Brighton last time and whilst it is not always sensible to bank on a horse building on a career best next time out it could well be that the stronger tempo of the shorter trip played more to his strengths.
This is because he had been becoming increasingly difficult to settle over 7f whilst his ability to handle Brighton’s undulations should ensure that Epsom holds no fears. There looks to be plenty of pace here with Handytalk and Poet’s Society drawn either side of Coronation Day and can provide him with the ideal trail into the race.
It is an increase rather than a drop in trip that looks to be the key in allowing Noble Manners to continue to progress. A typical big strong Mark Johnston type she has good physical presence but took nearly every yard of the step up to 7f to get up close home at Newmarket last time.
The extra furlong here should be right up her street and this mark should still prove well within her compass providing she copes with Ripon’s undulations which can sometimes be tricky for big scopey types.
Like many in the Windsor race he contested last time, he allowed runaway winner far too much rope. A bit like Coronation Day he has been campaigned with some success at Brighton and so his first appearance at Epsom is no great concern.
She looked to stay the 1m 4f trip well on her sole try at it at Lingfield on the all weather. Richard Hughes has his horses in good form and she has become more consistent since cheekpieces have been equipped.
My strongest view on the day is undoubtedly for Oliver Greenall’s Rock Warbler who looked to find cut in the ground against him at Newmarket a view reinforced by the fact connections took him out of a race a fortnight ago for that very reason.
Higher rated on the all weather his previous run at Haydock off a mark of 74 was a creditable one in a race that has thrown up a couple of winners.
Just two runs later he has been dropped no less than 5lb which allows him to complete at the lowest level since his last victory at Newcastle. The key will be how much the ground dries out at the Cumbrian track and adjust stakes accordingly, the faster the better.
Richard’s top tips for Tuesday:
3.10 Epsom: Coronation Day at a general 11-4
7.15 Carlisle: Rock Warbler at a general 12-1