There’s a competitive card at Stratford on Sunday and the race that interests me most is the Inspire Racing Club Mr Bow-Tie Man Novices’ Handicap Chase at 14:40, not because of my love for bow ties, but because of the unexposed Magic River.
A winner in points, he shaped better than the bare result on his chasing debut at Warwick 17 days ago, immediately on the back foot after the standing start, but the manner in which he crept into the race a circuit out suggests that he should do better in this sphere.
The handicapper clearly hasn’t seen it that way, dropping him 6 lb in the weights, but the feeling is he should be very competitive with that experience under his belt, for a small yard that are going along nicely at present.
There is also a bumper card at Wincanton on Sunday, and it is the bumper at 17:10 that makes the most appeal as a betting proposition. Mister Timmytucks – who seemingly didn’t make the cut for the much-loved Mr Men children’s books – failed to meet market expectations on his debut at Exeter in January.
But that was largely down to greenness, unsure what was going on when jockey Bryony Frost shook him up entering the straight and ultimately making no impression.
That experience is sure not to be lost on him, though, and he is clearly thought capable of much better, so a big run is expected now under Harry Cobden, who will presumably have had the pick between the two Paul Nicholls runners.
Across the Irish Sea, there are two more bets to be had at Dundalk and Tramore, respectively, with the first coming on a rare Sunday card at the first-named venue, namely the Fozzy Stack-trained Empire Line in the 15:05.
She was beaten only by a thriving sort who was winning her fourth race in a row round here – and has since gone in again – over this C&D last month, doing little wrong and in fact running a career best. Empire Line has been kept busy through the winter, so won’t be lacking for fitness, and very much looks the one to beat on these terms with a capable claimer taking off an additional 7 lb.
The final pick for our Lucky 15 comes in the maiden hurdle at Tramore at 14:50. This doesn’t look the strongest race of its type, one which won’t take much winning – even Cardiff City might have a chance in this – and it will be disappointing if Spyglass Hill isn’t able to get his head in front. He has achieved much more than these in all of his starts to date and, even though he proved a let-down when beaten at odds-on at Thurles when last seen, he didn’t jump as fluently as usual, and is worth forgiving that effort. If putting his best foot forward, he will prove especially difficult to beat.