Tip of the Day: Shon to shine
Ben Linfoot heads to Salisbury for the sportinglife.com racing tip of the day with one of Andrew Balding's well fancied.
Andrew Balding: Could have another Salisbury winner
Andrew Balding remains in good form and he looks to have found SHONGOLOLO a good opportunity in division two of the Bathwick Tyres Handicap (3.50) at Salisbury today.
The three-year-old remains a maiden after five starts, but he looks a likely type for handicaps judging by his latest run at Ffos Las and the drop in trip to seven furlongs is key to his chance this afternoon.
Last time in Wales he ran off today's mark of 60 over a mile and looked the likely winner at one stage, travelling well and hitting the front over a furlong out only to weaken late on.
He was value for more than his final finishing position there – he lost two places in the last 50 yards – and the way he travelled and moved up to lead suggests he's got races in him off his current handicap mark.
The drop in trip, therefore, looks ideal. Two of his winning half-brothers, Xenophanes and Jaywalker, won over five and six furlongs, while his dam, Nipping, was a good French sprinter who is related to sprinters.
So even though Shongololo is a son of Manduro he's got plenty of speed in his pedigree, and he really should be able to cope with his first crack at seven furlongs on his third handicap start.
Balding has had a really good season, including here at Salisbury where he's had nine winners from 42 runners – a win strike-rate of 21 per cent.
He's got bigger fish to fry with Absolutely So taking on Estidhkaar later on the card, but he could well go into that race on the back of his 10th Salisbury success of the season as this 0-60 contest gives the 60-rated Shongololo a fine chance to get off the mark.
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