Speedy Tiggy Wiggy to blitz rivals and claim first Group One
At this time of the year, warm air from the tropics heading north often clashes with cool polar air moving south, and that causes low pressure in the atmosphere around Ireland and the UK.
The weather during autumn is notoriously unsettled with plenty of rain mixed in with a bit of sunshine. Changeable weather makes my job a hell of a lot trickier and there's times when it can be hard to predict what the ground will be like more than a few hours before a race, never mind a day or two ahead.
The English racing commentator Jim McGrath said that professional gambler and Timeform founder Phil Bull once told him that you can analyse all the factors you want such as jockey, trainer, trip but, if the ground is wrong, none of it really matters.
I'm with Bull on that one and during the autumn, it's always worth trying to spot horses which are adept on various types of ground.
The sun is blazing as I write this and hopefully the weather will remain mild over the weekend but you never can be sure.
Having won on both soft and good to firm going, the Richard Hannon trained Tiggy Wiggy is one of those ground-versatile animals and although short enough in the betting at 6/5, I reckon she's a shoe-in for this afternoon's Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket (3.10).
Speaking of Timeform, she actually tops their juvenile filly ratings and some of the speeds she's clocking are very impressive indeed.
Second in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot , she absolutely destroyed the field in the Super Sprint at Newbury in one of the best performances we've seen from a two-year-old filly in years.
Most lately, she beat Cursory Glance over six furlongs in the Lowther at York last month and that form has been franked with Cursory Glance since winning the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
She's actually a great horse to watch in full flight and as pointed out by her trainer yesterday, her strides get longer near the end of the race while other horses are getting shorter.
There's talk of running her in the Prix de l'Abbaye next week although Hannon has stressed that he's taking it one race at a time and not getting ahead of himself.
She's almost certain to win a Group One very soon and you'd have to fancy that happening today.
Of the rest, Eddie Lynam's Anthem Alexander is the most interesting. She beat the selection by a neck in the Queen Mary although she hasn't managed to maintain that level of form and was third behind Tiggy Wiggy and Cursory Glance in the Lowther last time out. The only potential problem for Tiggy Wiggy is the venue.
The Rowley course has a dip near the end and then an uphill finish which could possibly upset her stride, but she should still have enough class to see it through.
If you're looking for a good bet at a bigger price, consider backing Bright Cecily (12/1) each way in the EBF Reprocolor Fillies' Handicap (4.45 Haydock). She won a handicap at Ffos Las recently and a 3lb rise in the weights is not too harsh.
An inside draw is always important in sprints at a tight course like Chester and at 14/1 or thereabouts, it could be worth taking an each-way chance on Tagula Night from stall two in the Advanced Insulation Handicap (2.30). He was well beaten at Doncaster last time but he normally gives a good account of himself and I suspect he was simply having an off day. I reckon we'll see consideable improvement now that his mark has been dropped a couple of pounds to 80.
2.30 Chester: Tagula Night (e/w)
2.35 Newmarket: Nafaqa
3.10 Newmarket: Tiggy Wiggy
4.45 Haydock: Bright Cecily (e/w)
6.30 Wolverhampton: Lady Crossmar
DO THE DOUBLE
NAFAQA beat Toocoolforschool in a Listed race at Doncaster last time and, with the latter since winning the Mill Reef, the form is rock solid.
Barry Hills’ juvenile looks a very smart sort and should take all the beating at 6/4 in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket (2.35).
DRAWN games have scuppered a number of my GAA bets this summer and I must check how much profit or loss you’d have shown blindly backing the draw in all Championship games.
Kilkenny and Tipperary do it all again this evening and I’m keeping faith in the Premier County, who are a shorter price than last time but still reasonably good value at 6/5.