Something slightly different for you today…
As you know I’m Steven Mullington and I’ve been the lead horse racing writer on 888’s Holding’s sports blog for the last three years. I also write articles for the popular online” Grand National Guide” throughout the entire year as the Grand National never stands still you know? In fact I love the Grand National!
Speaking of the iconic Aintree race, I’ve recently been shortlisted by the current sponsors- Randox Healthcare to become one of their brand ambassadors for the future promotion of the world’s greatest steeplechase.
This is a position I would dearly love to win, but it is all down to a public vote over a period of ten days starting on Saturday 20th May. Please be so kind as to look out for the #FeelLikeAP hashtags over the coming days and vote for me if you will. I will post up some more information at the weekend.
Back to the more immediate equine action and today is the opening day of the 2017 Dante Festival at York Racecourse. Here are my selections through the card:
Erik The Red came third in this race last year when it was sponsored by 888sport and Kevin Ryan appears to have laid him out for this race yet again. A Newcastle all-weather opening run should have sharpened the five-year-old gelding right up.
Selections: Erik The Red & Al Neksh (e/w).
David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope are a formidable pairing at this early stage in the season and their Out Do looks very strong in this contest. Listed winners running in handicaps are always of interest and Out Do should be on any shortlist.
Selections: Out Do & Flying Pursuit (e/w).
Hopefully Kevin Ryan will be going for a double when it comes to this race and Brando can give him his second winner of the afternoon. Brando won first time out this season and is a horse on the upgrade.
Selections: Brando permed with The Tin Man, Jungle Cat & Baccarat for the f/c.
Very hard to oppose Shutter Speed here and she should give us a good indication to how she may run in the Oaks at Epsom.
Selections: Shutter Speed permed with Serenada.
Battered ran three races as a two-year-old here so will be no stranger to the demands of the track. He is very handily weighted and Ryan Moore is a positive jockey booking.
Selections: Battered & Senator (e/w).
Mrs Angie Bailey appears to like to have a runner named after a film star and her £100,000 purchase, Savalas , has every chance of opening his two-year-old account here. Kevin Ryan trains once again.
Selections: Savalas, It Don’t Come Easy & Knockout Blow for the permed f/c.
I will take a punt on the popular Knavesmire runner, Chancery, here. The nine-year-old appears to come alive at this track and if he can put his Ripon run behind him he can be a leading player today.
Selections: Chancery & Island Flame (e/w).
Indian Skimmer wins 30 years ago.