Agar’s Plough (4/1) looks interesting for Michael Easterby here, after dropping back in trip to a mile having run over an unsuitable 10 furlongs on his last two starts. He went off favourite after a break here on his last start, though was prominently ridden in a race run at a very strong pace and dropped away tamely.
He should strip fitter here and the soft ground should also be in his favour, with one of his best runs coming in testing conditions when he chased home the now 95 rated Elector as a two year old, when trained by Ed Dunlop.
The lack of pace is a worry, though Quoteline Direct (9/4)is definitely handicapped to win a race of this quality and he looks to hold a big chance with Graham Lee replacing Miss Becky Smith in the saddle.
This trip is admittedly short of his optimal, but the race looks particularly weak and I’m hoping he can get away with it, especially with his draw in stall two a help in terms of getting a good racing position.
Speed Company (5/2) is a selection based on not liking some of the main opposition more than anything else, albeit that he looks to hold strong claims. He has been very consistent on his last three starts, finishing strongly from off the pace in races that weren’t really run to suit.
This race has plenty of pace on, with My Reward and Volcanic Sky likely to go forward, which should set it up for the selection. Volcanic Sky was impressive at Leicester last time, though the race was run in a very slow time, and he enjoyed an easy lead, making the form untrustworthy and I think the four-pound rise could stop him.
My Reward came back to form last time though was another who benefitted from being prominently ridden in a race which was run to suit. Speed Company will like the ground and the trip, while the stiff track should suit his late closing style, so I think he could be difficult to beat.
Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change.