We have a wide selection of races to choose from across Britain’s four fixtures on Monday, but it is a mile handicap at Windsor and a 2 mile contest at Beverley that have attracted my attention, both in the evening.
Beverley 8.15: Kirkman
On breeding he should not be able to get further than a mile at the most, but on the form he has displayed this season, Kirkham looks sure to relish this marathon 2m test for 3yo’s at Beverley this evening.
Well beaten in two juvenile maidens on the All Weather at the backend of last season, he fared no better on his return over 9f at Ripon in April. However stepped right up to 14f for a similar maiden handicap at Redcar a month later, he galloped on strongly right to the line, only failing to catch the consistent Blue Talisman. The way he kept on in the closing stages suggested strongly he would have got up in another furlong or so.
However his next run actually saw him drop down in distance for a maiden contest at Southwell (there are few maidens run over further than 12f). On this occasion he lacked the pace to get anywhere near the wide margin winner, but still kept on well enough for second. However he gets another opportunity to race against some real slowcoaches today and the stable could not be going better at present – their last three runners have all won.
Windsor 8.25: Unison
Peter Makin’s 4yo Unison was in danger of becoming a disappointing sort. However a switch back to a mile and more positive tactics have brought about considerable improvement in recent weeks and he returns here to the scene of a course and distance win from last month.
After a series of modest efforts at the start of his career, Unison came good at about this stage last year, failing agonisingly by a nose to win at Ffos Las over a mile, before going one better at the same track over 10f a week later. Both those performances came on soft ground, but his efforts this term have proved that he is just as effective on top of the ground conditions.
In need of the run when only finishing in mid-division at Bath over 10f on his first start for seven months, he shot to the front from the start under Silvestre de Sousa here over this mile trip next time. He had them strung out from halfway and was always doing enough to hold on to the line. Whilst he might have benefited from a masterly tactical ride from de Sousa on that occasion, he showed that effort to be no fluke when going close at Ascot last week when second to George Cinq (narrowly defeated again since). With de Sousa back on board he could take some passing once more.
Beverley 8.15 – Kirkman (5-1 Paddy Power)
Windsor 8.25 – Unison (10-3 Ladbrokes)
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