Cuil Rogue and Primrose Valley among tips for Ayr and Lingfield
Class-dropping Cuil Rogue handicapped to strike at Ayr
Cuil Rogue can cash-in on a drop in the weights and ease in grade to land 2m 3f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Ayr (13.15).
The gelding was a point winner who showed ability over hurdles in Ireland, most notably when runner-up in a 23-runner affair at Cork.
Although yet to trouble the judge in four starts since joining trainer Nicky Richards, Cuil Rogue posted an improved effort last time out in a class 4 contest over 2m 5f at this venue when travelling strongly into the race from off the pace before weakening late on to finish fifth of 11 to Fred Le Macon.
The eight-year-old has since been eased a further 2lb by the assessor as is now able to race off a career-low of just 98 having started life off with Richards on a rating of 112.
It gives Cuil Rogue major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form, especially now dropped into class 5 company for the first time.
The return to a shorter trip also looks sure to suit judged on his latest effort and another plus is that the yard has begun to hit form having saddled three winners and two runner-ups from its last 11 runners.
Ascot De Bruyere holds all the aces
Ascot De Bruyere has shaped well in two starts this season and looks decent value to get back to winning ways in the 2m 5f handicap chase (14.50).
The ex-French trained gelding made a perfect start for Scottish handler James Ewart when making all to land a maiden hurdle at Musselburgh by 4 1/2 lengths.
Ascot De Bruyere then failed to shine on his next start at Uttoxeter back in March, but there was lots to like about his chase debut on return to action over 2m at Sedgefield in October when third to Volvalien.
After being held-up, the six-year-old made good headway two from home and stuck to the task really well to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths in the hands of Lucy Alexander.
It was a cracking effort, given that Ascot De Bruyere looked in need of the run beforehand, and he backed it up with a fair third at Huntingdon in a race which may have come a shade too quickly.
The selection has since been given a short break to freshen-up and looks a potential improver now stepped up in trip having been quickly dropped 2lb to what looks a workable mark of 115.
12.10: Progress Drive
13.15: Cuil Rogue (NAP)
13.45: Forest Des Aigles
14.20: Trouble In Paris
14.50: Ascot De Bruyere (NB)
15.20: Monbeg Aquadude
Primrose Valley weighted to bloom at Lingfield
Primrose Valley has dropped to a dangerous mark and rates a solid bet to capitalise and land the spoils in the 6f handicap on today’s card at Lingfield (15.00).
The Ed Vaughan trained filly was in terrific form in the early part of last year when rattling up a four-timer, with the last of those successes coming in a class 2 contest at Wolverhampton off a mark of 98.
Primrose Valley went on to finish a fine third of 17 to subsequent Group 1 winner Magical Memory at Newmarket off the same rating and ran well at Chelmsford three starts back when fourth of 88 in a class 3 contest.
The four-year-old was also far from disgraced last time out at the same venue when staying on under tender handling to finish a never nearer 1 1/2 length seventh and is now able to race in this class 4 contest off just 84.
That is a massive 14lb lower than when last victorious and that gives Primrose Valley outstanding claims at the weights.
Other pluses are that she has a 25% strike rate on the polytrack surface, is one from three in the grade and has course and distance winning form to her name.
Natural Scenery poised to follow-up
Natural Scenery scored in terrific style last time out and can make light of a rise in the weights to follow-up in the 1m 2f handicap (13.55).
Trained by the in-form Saeed bin Suroor, who has a 26 per cent strike rate with his runners at the venue in the past 12 months, the three-year-old is a promising sort who has won two of her five starts.
In the first of those, Natural Scenary showed a nice turn of foot to beat Cape Cova by a length in an 11-runner maiden at Newmarket and the runner-up has gone on to score three times since to be rated 101.
That gives the form a strong look and the selection looked one to keep onside when making a winning return to action at Wolverhampton in October.
Natural Scenery travelled well throughout and only had to be driven clear to score with far mote in hand than the two length winning margin suggests.
Although now 7lb higher in the weights, the daughter of Dubawi remains well-treated off a revised rating of 89 judged on her victory over Cape Cova and looks the type who should have plenty more to offer.
12.20: Jack The Laird
12.50: Defining Moment
13.25: Gracious Tom
13.55: Natural Scenery (NB)
14.30: Poyle Vinnie (E/W)
15.00: Primrose Valley (NAP)
15.30: Keep It Dark