Gaelic Tiger can roar at Windsor

Red Hand

Gaelic Tiger has made significant strides for David O'Meara this season and can keep up the good work with victory in the Sky Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap at Windsor this evening.

He was certainly no slouch for Mark Johnston, winning on his only start for the Middleham trainer last August, but connections opted to ship him out at the autumn sales.

He changed hands for 26,000 guineas at Newmarket, but looks a sharp buy having placed twice and won once for O'Meara already this season.

Gaelic Tiger's only disappointing run came when stepped up to an extended two miles at York last month, when the trip was clearly beyond him on what was quite sticky ground.

Switched back to a mile-and-three furlongs at Hamilton subsequently, Gaelic Tiger resumed his upward trajectory with a neck verdict, although he looked decent value for the official margin.

The tight finish means the handicapper could not be too hard and while a 3lb rise is hardly generous, this Teofilo gelding certainly looks capable of more now that connections have found his trip.

Hughie Morrison is enduring a bit of a rough time off the track at present but a Pontefract double courtesy of Aurora Gray and Special Relation would help lift his spirits a bit.

Aurora Gray will be trying for a fourth win on the bounce as she lines up in the Tony Bethell Memorial Handicap, with a busy winter yielding those pleasing results.

Staying trips have evidently been the making of this Rip Van Winkle filly, with a victory at Lingfield back in December supplemented by two more all-weather verdicts in January.

While only winning lowly contests, she showed an admirable attitude when put under pressure despite being saddled with a penalty on the second of those starts and a 4lb uplift is probably fair enough.

Aurora Gray should be suitably refreshed as she has her first start since that win and while that is possibly not totally ideal, she looks thoroughly progressive and might not have to be too good to win this heat.

Special Relation has found maiden company beyond him so far, but the Wakefield Trinity Handicap could be more his level.

The three-year-old has bumped into one too good on each of his last three starts, most recently failing to strike by a length-and-a-half over a mile at Lingfield in January.

A try at middle distances looks sure to suit this son of Casamento and his mark of 76 could give Morrison something to work with.

Holmeswood is the pick in the Mr Wolf Sprint Handicap following a really good effort in defeat at Newmarket.

He was beaten over nine lengths in a really competitive heat last month, but rates better than the bare form as he stumbled quite badly over a furlong out when trying to challenge.

Add in the fact he was not the sharpest away and Holmeswood makes plenty of appeal off an unchanged mark of 85 for Michael Dods with new headgear on.

Nap: Gaelic Tiger

(7:30: Windsor)

Double: Aurora Gray

(7:10: Pontefract)

Treble: Special Relation

(8.10: Pontefract)

Yankee: Holmeswood

(7:40: Pontefract)

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