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This can go to AMIR KABIR who was quite progressive in handicaps last year, including on soft, and returned with a good effort behind unexposed and promising rivals at Newbury. Hawridge Storm and Leroy Leroy slugged it out over C&D recently but the main danger to the selection can come from HMS President ahead of Mafia Power. Bad Company was on a golden streak last year but is 12lb higher than his latest open handicap win which makes this return look hard work.
The soft ground will be a first for all of these. Tippy Toes led everywhere bar the line at Chelmsford and is the standout danger but another chance is given to BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE. She is probably a lot better than the bare form of her Newmarket effort in a race that is working out very well.
Preference is for ELEKTRONIC who showed clear promise over 6f last autumn, should be suited by the drop to 5f and looks open to progress this year. His main form rivals are Colombe and the exposed-looking Mahale, in that order of preference. Market confidence behind newcomer Simply Slew should be noted.
There should still be more to come from KINDRED SPIRIT, who had no luck on her reappearance. She gets the vote over Cream Of The Crop, who is another unexposed 3yo. The 5yos Camachess and Fizzy Feet are respected on ability.
With the slow ground in his favour, BRENTFORD HOPE (nap) makes plenty of appeal upped in grade. His two wins have been gained in very taking style and the latest was his first attempt at 1m, so he’s still massively unexposed over this trip. He’s one to follow this term and has a much better chance than the bare ratings suggest. Solid Stone, who has been largely progressive, is feared most. Stormy Antarctic has a big chance on his best form but he’s not guaranteed to reproduce it. Market support for Syrtis should be heeded.
Brighton winner THE WHIPMASTER is still unexposed at 1m and may be able to defy a 6lb rise. Second choice is Shaqeeqa, who has been consistent since switched to front-running. Dacesa and Aussie Rascal are likely players if they stay the trip. A few others are potential improvers, notably Dual Identity.
Nottingham runner-up REMEDIUM is the one to beat. Zuraig, Luisa Casati and Eton Blue are on the next rung of the form ladder, in that order of preference. Fire Eyes looks the pick of the newcomers.
A tight-looking fillies’ handicap. Marginal preference is for ATACAMENA in the hope that she can find some improvement on her consistent novice form. Narrow second choice is Secret Shadow, who came from a tougher position than Nellie Moon and Nastasiya when third at Kempton. Lady Pendragon and Beauty Stone are open to further progress and add interest to an open affair.
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