El Vip primed for this

April 29th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Sometimes you simply have to let a horse go and I shall not be chasing losses following Shui Feng’s poor effort in the Newbury Spring Cup last week. Perhaps he is slightly better on the all-weather these days but I took no encouragement from the race.

Punchestown was rather better and Minella Awards paid a few bills and kept callers to the line happy. This was a good example of British handicap hurdle form coming out on top because Philip Hobbs’ No Comment was second, the pair clear. It’s not often horses which have met at Plumpton dominate a valuable event at Punchestown!

I’m hoping something similar happens when Jonjo O’Neill’s DREAM BERRY goes for the 5.235 at the Irish venue on Saturday. This horse could have stayed at home for a good-looking handicap at Sandown but J P McManus loves having runners at Punchestown and has enjoyed a tremendous week. Dream Berry was a very good second in the Alder Hay at Liverpool and should be fighting out the finish in this.

Oh This Is Us has started the season in great style but faces a stiffer task at Haydock. I’m prepared to leave that race alone but EL VIP, who finished third to him in a very valuable race by Bath standards is the one to beat in the mile handicap (2.05) at the same meetimg. Luca Cumani generally gives his horses more time between races but El Vip is very well.

Godolphin’s HOME OF THE BRAVE should win the Listed King Richard III Stakes at Leicester for the second year in a row, while I’m not sure which will be the pick of Richard Fahey’s runners in the six-furlong handicap at Ripon. Some believe that George Bowen is slipping to a workable handicap mark but I have always held RIGHT TOUCH in high regard and he may be the value in the race.