The good news for Racing UK this morning is that the meeting at Salisbury has passed an 8am inspection and should proceed as planned, as it has escaped the rain affecting many parts of the country and none is expected before the meeting opens as 2pm.
The bad news, however, is that two of its tracks – Chester and Bangor – will jump ship in March next year to join their big rivals At The Races, which will by then have been rebranded as Sky Sports Racing. If Chester cannot quite be called a jewel in the Racing UK crown, it is very much at the top of the second tier and it is also one of the most popular courses in the country in terms of its attendance.
Confirmation that Sky Sports Racing will launch by the end of the year will be a live topic of conversation throughout the day, which has a full programme of five meetings including the ever-popular Windsor this evening. Windsor’s going remains good – “it looks like we’re going to be lucky with the weather” the track said on Twitter earlier today – but the ground will remain heavy at Salisbury, where there are a handful of horses scattered around the card with proven form on deep going.
Beyeh (4.45) is certainly one of those, and while a 10-year-old mare is a somewhat unusual choice as the best bet of the day, she does have plenty to recommend her.
She is a recent winner for one thing, although that was over hurdles at Fakenham and Mick Appleby’s mare is running on the Flat for the first time since October 2014 today. But her handicap mark has dropped significantly in the interim and she will race today off 54, the same mark off which she was an easy winner on heavy ground back in 2012. That was, admittedly, a long time ago, but Beyeh’s recent win showed she still has enough talent to get her head in front and Appleby may have found her an ideal opportunity to resume winning ways on the Flat. She is quite strong in the market this morning too, which is also encouraging, and a big run looks likely at around odds of 9-2. Glory Of Paris (2.30) is another leading contender with form on this ground, while Muscika (4.05) could run well at a decent price in the sprint handicap at Thirsk. Tivoli (3.15) stands out on the card at Wolverhampton, while Brockey Rise (5.10) and Flowing Clarets (6.10) are both worth an interest at Windsor later.