LONDON – Things have not quite gone Pea Shooter’s way this year, but now might be the time to get back on the wagon at Haydock on Friday.
The Kevin Ryan-trained three-year-old looked genuinely exciting as a juvenile, especially when he blitzed plenty of good yardsticks by upwards of six lengths at York last September. And while he has been running creditably in valuable handicaps, the Piccolo gelding has perhaps needed a helping hand from the assessor.
Pea Shooter loves a galloping track, so should be in his element back at Haydock where he was a promising fifth from a tardy start on just his third start.
Even if the ground turns soft for the Parry & Co Solicitors Annual Handicap it is unlikely to be the quagmire on which he competed at York last time.
Dinkum Diamond, meanwhile, could be the shout in the poptelecom.co.uk Essential Business Tariff Conditions Stakes at Newmarket. Henry Candy’s popular sprinter had rather lost his way this season before showing customary dash to take fifth spot in the Coral Charge at Sandown two weeks ago. With that sighter now in the bag, a big run can be anticipated at Headquarters.
Dinkum Diamond would perhaps not want too much more rain but is clearly suited by the conditions of this race judged by his convincing success in last year’s renewal.
Pearl Bell is as safe a bet as anything on a fiendishly difficult card at Ascot. The two-year-old Camacho filly made a big impression on her debut over the 1200m trip at Newmarket in June when she only succumbed late to Reyaadah, who looks well above average.
Trainer Brian Meehan still has Pearl Bell in several big races later in the season, which might reveal the regard in which she is held at Manton. The Helical Bar EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes looks a nice race for her at this stage of her career.
Singeur can make up for lost time by winning the Betfred Handicap at Pontefract. The Robin Bastiman-trained sprinter goes particularly well fresh, so punters should not be put off by a 272-day absence. A proven campaigner in this sort of company, he is a strong enough horse to handle joint-top weight.
Infinite Hope also holds logical claims in division one of the Jockey Club Catering Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Nottingham. The three-year-old daughter of Dynaformer perhaps surprised even trainer Luca Cumani on her debut at Goodwood a fortnight ago when she got to within a head of well-regarded Valiant Girl over 1800m. Despite being worried out of it late on, Infinite Hope was doing her best work at the finish, which no doubt convinced connections to step her up to 2000m. It would be a surprise and a disappointment were she to take a backward step at Colwick Park. – Press Association.