BRENTFORD HOPE has taken a fair hike in the ratings after putting up a spectacular performance when last seen on the racecourse at Haydock. He was a non-runner in the curtain raiser at Doncaster – the Lincoln Handicap – as the ground was not deemed soft enough for him.
He is going to get his desired conditions at this track and can pull off a last handicap win before he steps back up in grade and tries to fulfil the potential he had shown early on in his career for his trainer Richard Hughes.
The Sir Michael Stoute runner SANGARIUS has always brought a big reputation to the track and maybe the wind operation he had can get him to live up to some of that lofty home reputation he has.
He just managed to get his head in front when last seen in very gutsy fashion at Lingfield, and it’s that old adage as far as his trainer is concerned that patience is absolute key. He does have a little to find on official ratings, but he is proven in the conditions.
RARE GROOVE took a significant step forward from his return effort when sauntering clear for a wide-margin success at Newcastle over 2m, having missed a full season with a tendon problem. Jedd O’Keeffe and connections seem to have him in top-class form at present and he looks a thorough stayer – so this 2m 2f test, where they pass the winning post three times, should suit.
He’s drawn a little wide in stall 16, but that’s probably factored into his price.
The form of his return effort at Newbury has been rubber-stamped with the winner that day, Came From the Dark, an unlucky loser up at Newmarket next time when upped in grade. Andrew Balding’s runners always tend to improve for an outing and he will have the services of Ryan Moore in the saddle. The favourite El Astronaute is drawn in stall four, so KING’S LYNN should get an ideal tow into the contest from just outside him in stall six.
Another Andrew Balding runner FOX TAL has proven top-level form in the book and that’s why he is carrying top weight in a very strong handicap. His ability to handle the softer conditions is in his favour and they’ve added a hood to get him to settle a little easier. He looks a class act in this line-up and the Balding team can double up on the day.
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