NAP of the Day: Give 7/2 shot another chance on Friday

 | Thursday 4th July 2024, 18:13pm

Thursday 4th July 2024, 18:13pm

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

Following back-to-back seconds, I'm hoping to go one better on Friday as I head to Doncaster in search of a welcome winner.

I'm putting my faith in a previous loser for this NAP of the Day column, who I think has been found an excellent opportunity to get off the mark at the fourth attempt.

NAP of the Day - Friday, July 5

  • 14:40 Doncaster - Crown Of India @ 7/2

Ed Walker's CROWN OF INDIA failed to oblige at Salisbury a few weeks ago under the weight of my expectation, but I fancy he can gain compensation at Doncaster on Friday.

As far as I'm concerned, the three-year-old son of Camelot was unlucky in Wiltshire. After finding his mount short of room at the two-furlong pole, jockey Tom Marquand had to force a gap between the eventual winner and runner-up and ultimately ran out of time.

He was only beaten half a length and closing with every stride, strongly suggesting he would have been victorious with a bit more fortune in running.

Nevertheless, that's a solid piece of form in the context of this 1m4f novice. Leicester Square, who was first past the post, cost a pretty penny back in 2022 and came into that Salisbury spectacle on the back of a promising debut, while the second-placed Liam Swagger was rated 82 having posted some solid efforts throughout the spring.

Even Eben Zaabeel, who finished a clear fourth, has advertised the form somewhat, placing on his handicap debut at Newbury off a mark of 79 late last month.

For me, Friday's assignment looks an easier one. Sea Regal is his main rival according to the 14:40 Doncaster Odds and it will be no surprise to me if she stays strong in the market. At face value, her debut form behind subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Elmalka reads very well and the beautifully-bred filly holds an entry in next month's G1 Yorkshire Oaks.

However, I think she's much better judged on her success at Ripon over a month ago. She made somewhat hard work of beating a horse of Charlie Johnston's called Winter Life, who was easily beaten in two starts prior and has since struggled in handicaps off marks in the mid-70s.

That form is weak from top to bottom, to be frank, and the penalty she carries as a result of winning it only puts me off further.

French Master and Regal Connection are well-bred and well-connected in equal measure, but they have to put seriously underwhelming debuts a long way behind them to get involved here.

Pagan Sun was a long way behind the selection last time out so he's ruled out easily enough, while the rest of the field are 16/1 or bigger and ultimately hard to advise.

I'm not saying it's a case of last chance saloon for Crown Of India, but this looks an outstanding opportunity for him to get off the mark providing he takes to the first-time hood.

Ed Walker is in great form too, operating at a 25% strike rate courtesy of five winners from 20 runners in the last two weeks, which only further supports the case to back my NAP of the Day.

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