In the 3.10 at Pontefract on Tuesday, Black Cherry has failed to add to her winning tally since stretching away to win a 0-85 handicap at Sandown last summer, but has proved a reliable performer at Listed and Pattern level and deserves a change of luck. Her latest seventh of 14, beaten 4¾ lengths, behind Usherette in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot was another solid effort and the return to faster underfoot conditions should do her chances no harm.
In the 4.10 at Pontefract, Trainnah has run two promising races, over an extended mile on her debut at Nottingham in May and one over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Salisbury last month, and can put that experience to good use. She’s bred to be suited by middle distances and trainer William Haggas has 33% strike rate with her age group at the course over the last five seasons, so it’ll be disappointing if she can’t get off the mark at the third time of asking.
Selections: Pontefract 3.10 Black Cherry, Pontefract 4.10 Trainnah, 1-point Win Double
In the 2.30 at Haydock on Thursday, Miss Infinity can initiate a double for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning. The Middleham Moor trainer has already had 38 juvenile winners this season, at a strike rate of 26%, and Miss Infinity made all to win convincingly at Ayr 12 days ago. She carries a 6lb penalty for that success and, as a daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar, slower underfoot conditions are a slight worry, but she was only beaten 2 lengths by a subsequent Listed winner over course and distance on her racecourse debut earlier this month and looks a smart prospect.
In the 4.30 at Haydock, Regal Monarch steps up in class and distance, but won with any amount in hand over 1 mile 5 furlongs, on soft going, on the July Course at Newmarket last week and looks well treated under a 6lb penalty. The Notnowcato gelding has made excellent progress this season, winning three of his five starts and officially improving by 2l1b already, but may not have finished yet. Two of his three wins have come on soft going, so any rain in the North West shouldn’t do his chances any harm.
Selections: Haydock 2.30 Miss Infinity, Haydock 4.30 Regal Monarch, 1-point Win Double
Self praise is no recommendation, we know, but we do hope that you latched onto last week’s winning patent (Usherette 9/4, Portage 10/1 and Persuasive 11/4), which generated a profit of 234.25 points. Anyway, Wednesday sees the running of the historic Carlisle Bell (3.35) and the Carlisle Bell Consolation (3.00) so, while we’re in form, we’ve had a crack at another long odds double.
In the 3.00, Just Be Lucky finished a close fourth behind subsequent winner Ice Slice at Nottingham three starts ago and has since improved to win at Haydock and Wetherby. The Intense Focus gelding steps up in class off a 5lb higher mark, but is clearly going the right way and may be capable of completing a hat-trick. First-time blinkers are a slight worry, but Ivan Furtado has a decent strike rate with his older horses this season and can score with his first ever runner at the Cumbrian course.
In the 3.35, Alexandrakollontai won convincingly over a testing 7 furlongs at Leicester in May and was far from disgraced when a never-nearer fourth of eight, beaten 2½ lengths, behind Final Venture over 6 furlongs at Hamilton two weeks ago off his revised mark. The Amadeus Wolf mare remains on a career-high mark, but looks far from impossibly handicapped and should give us a good run for our money.
Selections: Carlisle 3.00 Just Be Lucky, Carlisle 3.35 Alexandrakollontai, 1-Point Win Double