Mrsgrey is making her seasonal reappearance and while she is a risky proposition on her return, I can’t resist backing her off a mark of 102. She’s a former point-to-pointer who was a cheap purchase for connections, though she seemed to improve on each of her three starts in maiden hurdles, looking badly in need of a step up in trip.
She got that on handicap debut, where she ran really well when third in a useful race at this track. She looked a bit of an awkward ride then, though she was partnered by a 7lb claimer.
The in-form Lee Edwards takes over today and it could lead to an improved performance , making her worth a bet at the prices.
Duke Of Condicote has looked a strong stayer in the making, which bodes well for his chances in this 10f nursery on heavy ground. He ran an eye-catching race on his last start at Goodwood, in similar conditions, and the handicapper has given him a fair opening mark of 73.
Prior to that he again ran a very eye-catching race at Kempton, , over what was too short of a trip in a contest that has worked out well. Given the conditions of this race, it is easy to find negatives about much of the opposition.
I think he’ll prove difficult to beat.
Al Moataz was quite disappointing on his last start – though he looks a value play here on some of his previous form.
He was a well beaten sixth of 11 at Kempton last time, when ridden up with the pace, in a race that was run in a very fast time for the grade. On his previous effort on handicap debut at Chelmsford he ran well to be beaten half a length by Huterwali showing that he is capable of winning off this type of mark.
He’s got a real soft-ground pedigree and chased home the very useful Miss O Connor (who went on to win a Listed race) on soft ground at this track before.
I’d have big ground concerns about some of his main opposition in Quarry Beach and Espresso Freddo, and it may be the unexposed three-year-old, Rudy Lewis, that will prove most difficult to beat.
Al Moataz can out-run his odds and he looks worth an each-way wager.
Cormier has been very disappointing on his last three starts, though a combination of a drop in trip and the application of a visor could see him running much better here.
His best career run to date, when chasing home the useful Mind The Crack, was on heavy ground at Haydock, which bodes well for his chances in today’s conditions. The favourite, Deinonychus could be tough to beat, though he is effectively 8lbs higher (as he was ridden by a 5lb claimer and got a 3lb penalty) for his win at this venue last week.
He looks worth taking on at the prices.
Cormier has one of the better apprentices riding, in Harrison Shaw, and he’s the one to take on the favourite with.
*Prices correct at time of publishing