A new week of racing action begins with five meetings across Britain and Ireland on Monday.
They come at Worcester and Roscommon over jumps, while action on the Flat comes from Ayr, Chepstow and Ripon.
Amongst our Monday picks is Perfect Play for the Charlie Johnston team as they look to take the feature race at Ripon after an encouraging second last time behind an improver at Redcar.
Charlie Johnston and Franny Norton team up with PERFECT PLAY (15/2) as they look to take out this evening’s feature race, the Ripon Directors Cup Handicap at Yorkshire’s Garden course.
The Siyouni gelding has shown improved form this season since going up to this sort of trip.
He was just denied at Beverley on his seasonal bow in May and then managed to go one better in a clear-cut win at Chester soon after.
Off the back of that he went to Epsom on Derby Weekend for a Class 2 event, but was well held, the rise in class coupled with three runs in quick succession perhaps catching him out.
Three weeks later he made his way to Redcar and finished second in Class 4 company, denied only by an improved Charlie Fellowes-trained handicap debutant after they’d put lots of daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.
He’s 3lb higher for this assignment, but should go well towards the front end and has leading claims based on this seasons’ efforts to date.
The prospect of having ‘soft’ in the going description for the afternoon card at Ayr is a positive for Tim Easterby’s contender MANILA SCOUSE (4/1) in the second race, a 6f sprint where he is one of a trio of 4YOs taking on older rivals.
The Acclaim gelding ended last season by winning a Catterick novice over 5f on soft ground in October and his four runs this season have offered plenty of encouragement that there are more races to be won with him.
The best of those runs – runner-up postings at Ripon and Beverley over 5f – came on soft ground, while he was beaten two-lengths on his most recent start at Pontefract in a competitive Sunday Series contest last month.
That was just his second attempt at this 6f trip and it was encouraging. He remains on a mark of 79 and Jason Hart’s partner looks a player with favourable conditions underfoot.
The Charlie Longsdon-trained THREE MACKS (11/2) may gain a deserved first win over hurdles via the Anja Potze Fine Jewellery Of Worcester Mares’ Handicap Hurdle this afternoon at Worcester.
The ex-Irish flat performer has made the frame in four of six starts over hurdles since joining this yard, including finishing second in three of her last four.
The most recent of those came over this C&D last month when chasing home No Way Pedro and that looks a sound effort after the winner followed up at Southwell since.
From an unchanged mark of 93 and with Lily Pinchin once more taking off 3lb in the saddle, Three Macks looks to be on the verge of a breakthrough hurdles win.