Velvet Vision very much caught the eye on her first run since leaving Mark Tompkins, over a trip which may be short of her optimum. She did well to finish fourth – beaten one and three-quarter lengths – but looked unlucky not to finish even closer, slowly away but travelling better than most until snatched up under two furlongs out. Velvet Vision stayed on with enough purpose after to suggest she is up to winning races from this mark, and is of interest stepping back up to a mile and a half, with this track sure to help her hold-up style, too.
This looks a cracking handicap for the time of year, and it is hard not to be drawn to Deja, who keeps on defying the handicapper. He seemingly isn’t the most straightforward to train, seen on the race track only five times since July 2017, but there is no denying he possesses plenty of ability, winning with plenty in hand when completing a four-time at Kempton in July. The handicapper has raised him another 7lb since, and to beat the thriving Paths of Glory, Peter Chapple-Hyam’s charge will have to put up a smart performance, but he looks a pattern-class performer in the making, and is fully expected to extend his winning sequence.
This looks an above-average maiden for the time of year, with plenty of powerful connections represented, and it is Galsworthy that tops the list. He was well found in the market when finishing runner-up in a similar event at Newmarket on debut, impressing with the way he got into contention, even if he couldn’t sustain the run well enough to make a winning debut, and looks a sure-fire improver now. John Gosden carries all before him in these events, Galsworthy is sure to appreciate this significant step up in trip on pedigree – out of a mile and a half winner who stayed further.
Home Before Dusk has recorded all four of his wins at this track, so he clearly has an affinity for it, and the step back up to a mile and a quarter won’t be a problem, so there is plenty to like about his chances. However, in the shape of Big Daddy Kane he faces a younger horse who is at the opposite end of the handicapping spectrum. He has shaped well on all three of his starts in minor events on the all-weather this year, showing his best form when runner-up to a potentially smart type at Wolverhampton last time, and he may have been let in lightly on handicap debut.
Time Voyage was sent off at big odds (50/1) on debut over this C&D last month, getting the hang of things late on after starting slowly. The race was won by a promising pair of well-bred debutantes, the form looking solid with the standard-setter finishing third, so Time Voyage likely run on merit there and seems sure to improve for that initial experience.
A competitive sprint handicap where a case can be made for several, but the one horse that makes the most appeal is Red Impression. She looked a pattern-class performer in the making when winning over six furlongs at Lingfield around this time last year, breaking the two-year-old course record without coming off the bridle. Admittedly, things haven’t quite gone to plan since, but she was drawn badly on her return at Chelmsford, and it is probably best to ignore her two runs since on the turf. The return to a synthetic surface can stand her in good stead and an opening mark of 93 looks lenient based on her juvenile form.
Baileys Blues left his debut form well behind when running a promising sort of John Gosden’s close at Yarmouth last month, disputing the lead and travelling well until just edged out in the finish. There should be more to come from him now, and he can go one place better for a yard that are among the winners.
13:20 Velvet Vision
15:00 Big Daddy Kane
15:30 Time Voyage
16:05 Red Impression
16:35 Baileys Blues
* All odds correct at time of posting.