By Richard Hoiles
As the rain lashes down outside my window in darkness that fell by seven o’clock last night it is easy to believe the old saying that, ‘winter comes in on the tail of the last St Leger horse.’ The Flat season is, however, still the dominant force with three squelchy turf cards and an all-weather evening card under the lights at Newcastle providing the action.
Duke Cosimo – 2.20 Redcar: After a lean midsummer spell Michael Herrington has his horses going well with a winner and three placings from his six runners this month. Duke Cosimo was far from disgraced at Ascot when fifth last time, but it is the run prior to that over today’s course and 6f distance that marks him down as something to bet on.
That effort yielded a fourth place in a race that has worked out really strongly with no less than four horses (Tricky Dicky, who was second, Ninjago, who was fifth, Jessinamillion, who was sixth and Kenny The Captain in seventh) all winning next time out.
The Pivotal gelding is able to line up here off a 3lb lower mark on ground that should be more to his liking and he is a confident selection to be in the shake up.
The 15-2 available looks to significantly underestimate his chance and he would be my bet of the day.
Six furlongs on soft ground looks ideal for Metisian, whose best performance to date came under these conditions at Doncaster.
The son of Group Two 7f winner Sleeping Indian has run with credit since that victory but could well take another step forward with cheekpieces applied for the first time and optimal conditions.
Trainer Jedd O’Keeffe has had a good season and is just a few pounds short of recording his biggest prize money haul on the Flat. It is a race that will not take a great deal of winning so the standout 9-1 with William Hill looks appetising.
The lightly-raced Dream Bounty did not show a great deal on his first run for over a year at Pontefract last time but it is encouraging he is capable of being turned out again a month later. More significantly he has moved to the Mick Appleby yard, which is renowned for improving horses switched into their care.
He will probably need testing conditions at this trip to be seen to best effect as he has often been putting in his best work late. While this horse came via one run for Steph Hollinshead, the three previous ones were for John Holt. Shirley’s Pride and Mata Hari Blue ran for Holt prior to switching to Appleby, too, and both ran well first up.
On his last run the 4-1 looks skinny enough, but the stable change could prove that an unwise guide to Dream Bounty’s ability.
Cape Peninsular has placed rather more often than he has won during his career but this looks more admirable consistency than any great temperament concerns, although she did look awkward off the bridle on one occasion.
The daughter of Cape Cross looks to have the class to put in another bold show over an extended 12 furlongs. Her run over course and distance last time is solid for the grade.
Richard Hoiles's Tuesday tips: (Prices correct at 9.30am)
2.55 Redcar: Metisian at 9-1 with William Hill
5.40 Newcastle: Cape Peninsular at a generally available 9-2