It was a successful start to our headgear watch series on Monday, with a pair of placed runners in the form of In Your Shadow and Frankie Ballou. On Thusrday, we have cards from Wincanton, Southwell, Thurles, Carlisle and Newcastle to get stuck into.
That also gives us plenty of opportunities to find angles into the racing, and as per the title, I’ll be looking for horses with new headgear that could add a spring into their step. Here’s three to follow on Thursday who should be buoyed by new aids!
No No Tonic
Beaten just two lengths on her latest outing at Taunton, NO NO TONIC has been steadily coming to the boil this season and that latest effort looking like a stark warning that she was ready to overflow. She’s just a pound higher today and the fitting of the cheekpieces can only be a good thing for her chances.
She’s raced just eight times over hurdles thus far and the best is surely yet to come from this six-year-old, who also is helped by Fergus Gillard’s seven-pound claim. If able to build on her recent exploits thanks to the cheekpieces, she’s going to be flying on past in the closing stages.
Mick Appleby has a knack for getting the best out of horses who have slipped away for previous trainers and he has the opportunity to do the same again with LACAN. He’s been in the hands of plenty of different trainers, with his last victory coming for Brett Johnson back in March 2018 off a handicap rating of 82.
He finds himself at his lowest level today, racing in classified company, where none of his opponents have scored in their last five races. He’s tried in the first-time blinkers today and if they have even a slight positive impact, he should prove far too good for this field under Ben Curtis.
A course and distance winner three starts ago, Airshow hasn’t had the rub of the green in two subsequent outings, latterly back over course and distance where being unable to grab an early lead really hampered him in the closing stages.
He is just two pounds above his last winning rating and he remains unexposed on the All-Weather, running just three times at Southwell. He clearly likes the course, given his victory here at the first try and connections have reached for the blinkers, which could certainly be a source of improvement for a sometimes keen front-runner.
Back down in grade, off a mark that is certainly achievable, he’s certainly one to take very seriously as he bids for a fifth career victory.