TWO NAPS UP OUT OF TWO: Daqman followed Shamdarley (WON 2-1) on Monday with another winning nap yesterday, Mojolika (WON 7-4). Follow him in his search for the hat-trick today.
HANAGAN v DE SOUSA BATTLE AT CATTERICK: Feature of the afternoon is the clash at Catterick between top contenders in the Flat-jockeys’ title race, Paul Hanagan on 74 and Silvestre De Sousa on 70. Ryan Moore (69) is at Southwell.
The nap is a guardian Angel. Paul Hanagan can extend his lead over a burgeoning Silvestre De Sousa, with Hel’s Angel the guardian of my naps sequence at Catterick this afternoon. I’m checking out Hanagan v De Sousa with a vote on their win potential, given at the end of each summary.
2.20 Catterick: Sellers are notoriously difficult races to solve but Paul Hanagan’s mount, Bilko Pak, looks a cast-iron place bet after eight out of nine times in the frame, two of them wins. He’s often a bad starter, which helped account for his defeat over course and distance a week ago.
The handicapper says that Opus Maximus is the only other one to consider: Jennie Candish won a seller with him 12 days ago but a significantly poor one and he was actually dropped 4lb for winning it! Win potential: Hanagan 7.
2.50 Catterick: Hanagan’s mount, Flying Pickets, has won only a seller and was beaten in a claimer so, strictly, has no chance against Piece By Piece and Judas Jo, who ran in a Group race after winning on the debut over today’s CD.
Piece By Piece is odds on this morning after his Ripon win and running up to previous winner Parc De Launay at Newcastle with the third horse, Kenny Powers, since within about five lengths of Frederick Engels.
You have to answer the question: is there 8lb difference between them? The Racing Post ratings say it’s only around 2lb at the weights. In such a small field, with a tactical race likely, the 4.0 Judas Jo appeals as a bit of a punt on Betdaq this morning. Win potential: Hanagan 4.
3.20 Catterick: At last, Hanagan v De Sousa in the same race. Their mounts share six CD wins, with Hanagan on the favourite, Hel’s Angel, but with De Sousa and Eljaaz trying to repeat last year’s success.
Though 10 years old, and 12lb worse off for defeat by Hel’s Angel in May, Eljaaz is clear second favourite, which helps confirm the strength of Hel’s Angel as a bet.
The only other runner at single-figure offers, Relative Strength, has never won on turf and has also been beaten by Hel’s Angel this term. On known form, then, Hel’s Angel should be odds on here. Win potential: Hanagan 9, De Sousa 5.
3.50 Catterick: The second of two encounters between Hanagan and De Sousa. Hanagan’s on the favourite again, Royal Bajan, but there’s an intruder in their private battle: David Allan says: heh, this is my race!
Allan has had three wins and a place from five rides and Tim Easterby’s filly, Berberana, is down in the weights, so the situation now looks close.
It works out like this: Gottcher beat Royal Bajan by the equivalent of 9lb at Haydock after beating Berberana when he was receiving weight on the same course earlier.
Berberana is now 9lb better off with Gotcher and the form lines from Gottcher suggests she is quite capable of upsetting Royal Bajan at today’s weights. De Sousa’s mount, Bay Of Fires, was a close contender for the favourite’s spot this morning but this 6f and 7f winner as a two-year-old drops back to the minimum here. Win potential: Hanagan 7, De Sousa 5.
4.20 Catterick: Hanagan and Fahey are a formidable combination and Torun City is a big price – offers of 13.5 – for his first handicap.
Hal Of A Lover ran poorly for James Sullivan last time but De Sousa is back on board today: he ran this one up to yesterday’s winner Mojolika at Redcar, then won on him at Beverley.
The favourite, Memory Lane, strung them right out here last time, with the winning distances in lengths: 8, 8, 8, 6, 10, but it was clearly a poor auction maiden and the filly now has to give 16lb to Hal Of A Lover.
As well as Torun City, Bella Montagna and Bollin Mandy are also making their handicap debuts, I wouldn’t be taking too short a price about the favourite. Win potential: De Sousa 6, Hanagan 4.
BET 6.6pts win JUDAS JO (2.50 Catterick)
BET 14pts win (nap) HEL’S ANGEL (3.20 Catterick)
BET 3.8pts win BERBERANA (3.50 Catterick)