TEN days ago AZERT DE COEUR (3.25) caught the eye with the way he served it up to the improving Caraline at Wetherby, going down by a head. There were 15 lengths back to the third. Today Venetia Williams’ six-year-old is back at the North Yorkshire track as he bids to go one better. He has been raised 5lb, which is not overly harsh, and has a great chance of getting off the mark over fences.
The only worry is that it’s only 10 days since his last race. The opposition is strong too and top weight Ballybolley finally seemed to be getting his act together over fences last time, although he will be much better on decent ground. I fear the prices may have gone on Azert de Coeur as he is generally a 2-1 shot after morning support.
ROCKY STONE (2.50) is another attracting support. He is inconsistent but there were good signs at Catterick last time out that he was coming into form. He is a course and distance winner and has the considerable help of Noel Fehily.
Pinkie Brown has been heavily backed in the opener (1.10) which could allow FOR GOODNESS SAKE to go off at a backable price, while Richard Johnson should clock up another winner on NO COMMENT (4.00) who has been well backed this morning.
I’m looking forward to seeing THE ORGANIST (1.55) run at Leicester. She is full of potential and while she is no betting proposition today, she will have to win to be considered a serious Cheltenham Festival player.