Welsh Lord ran green on his racecourse debut, over a mile, at Chelmsford last October and was again restless in the stalls when making his belated seasonal reappearance, over 1 mile 2 furlongs, at the Essex track earlier this month. However, on the latter occasion, despite taking a keen hold, the Dark Angel gelding made all the running to beat the favourite – and subsequent winner – Saint Diana by 3 lengths, eased down. The third horse, Enbihaar, who was beaten a further 3 lengths, also won comfortably at Kempton last Tuesday to give the form an especially healthy glow.
Gelded during the summer, Saeed bin Suroor’s three-year-old remains open to significant improvement on just his third start and, while he holds no fancy entries, can take the Carol McDonagh Well Done Novice Stakes (3.45) at Lingfield on Monday en route to better things. The Newmarket handler has a healthy 13-47 (28%) strike rate with his three-year-olds at the Surrey track over the last five seasons and, while he faces a number of unknown quantities, Welsh Lord looks to have every chance of improving that record. An unexposed, progressive type, with compelling winning form on Polytrack, Welsh Lord appeals as a potential ‘good thing’.
Selection: Lingfield 3.45 Welsh Lord to win 9/4
In recent months, Sweet Pursuit has developed a liking for Ffos Las, winning three times at the West Wales venue before finishing a closing fourth, beaten 2¾ lengths, in a competitive 0-95 affair 11 days ago. Rod Millman’s 4-year-old filly has been raised 1lb for that effort but, granted better luck in running, the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits can make her presence felt in the Netbet Betmaker Fillies’ Handicap (4.45) at Goodwood on Tuesday.
Sweet Pursuit ran creditably in defeat over course and distance last summer, but has since improved 29lb, according to official ratings, and may still have more improvement to come. In any case, she’s clearly at the top of her game and this might her last opportunity to race in 0-80 company for a while. She’s won on soft, good to soft, good and good to firm going, so should run her race whatever the weather in West Sussex between now and Tuesday afternoon and can hopefully make it three wins in four starts under capable apprentice Finley Marsh.
Provided four races in the space of a month doesn’t prove to be going to the well once too often, Sweet Pursuit is hard to fault and it’ll be interesting to see what the layers make of her chance in due course. Trainer Rod Millman reports her in “top form”, so it may just be a question of taking whatever price we can get against some largely uninspiring opposition.
Selection: Goodwood 4.45 Sweet Pursuit to win 11/4