Without a shadow of doubt Jim Best is the Sussex trainer in form at present, with eight of his last 19 runners returning to the winner’s enclosure and everything he has run in the past two weeks making the frame, writes Jason Hall.
The Lewes handler has a busy few days in front of him as well with a number of intended runners at the National Hunt fixtures taking place – and Jim was kind enough to walk us through their chances when I spoke with him earlier this week.
He said: “Bollin Judith has a couple of entries at Southwell over two and two and a half miles. I’ll have a look at how each race shapes up but am not too bothered about the trip. It’s more a case with her about what she’s in against and the likely quick ground will be a big plus for her.
“I certainly think she’s on a mark she can win from.
“It’s Only Business will go to Stratford and try to defy a double penalty.
“He really wants to be a race horse and enjoys his work and is a natural over hurdles.
“AP (McCoy) said after he won on him first time for us what a smashing attitude he has and looking at how well he won last time, I’m starting to think he could be pretty decent – and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he won again even with this double penalty.
“Rocky Ryan is at his best when fresh and is going well at home.
“He’s had lots of problems down the years but still has the ability to win a race and if things drop right for him he should be involved.
“I was a bit disappointed that Lyssio couldn’t overcome the penalty last time but maybe it was a decent race for the time of year.
“He was a bit inconsistent on the flat with his former yard and it might be he just likes to be fresh.
“We’re learning about him and he goes to Newton Abbot with us hoping for another good showing. AP will ride all of them assuming he’s free to do so and we’re hoping to keep our good form going.”
Many thanks to Jim and there is nothing like following a stable in form to help pay some of the summer holiday expenses.
Elsewhere, this Saturday sees the latest renewal of the Group One July Cup take place at Newmarket.
Shea Shea was unfortunate not to win at Royal Ascot when collared close home but I am concerned about the stiff six furlongs he will face tomorrow being at the limit of his stamina.
Regular readers will be aware that I have been impressed by the progress of Slade Power and he will be ideally suited by the conditions of the July Cup. I think this race could see him make the transition to the top division of sprinters and he represents excellent each-way value for a yard who know what a crack sprinter looks like.
AP McCoy, pictured, spoke in glowing terms of Jim Best’s Stratford runner It’s Only Business.