ISLAND HIDEAWAY progressed again when second on her most recent outing at Chelmsford, finding only a potentially useful newcomer too strong. That form sets the standard on weight-adjusted ratings here, and with further improvement on the cards, this looks a good opportunity for her to get off the mark at the fourth time of asking.
AGENT OF FORTUNE is now 6 lb lower than when winning at Chelmsford last winter and could be worth chancing in the hope that the switch to the Gary Moore yard may have revitalised him after a spell in the doldrums.
Duke of North has also edged down the weights and is feared most ahead of Cat Royale.
STORY OF LIGHT showed much-improved form after six months off and a gelding operation to open his account at Chelmsford last time, staying on strongly to win comfortably by two and three quarter lengths. The way he finished his race suggests the extra furlong here won’t be an issue, and it will be disappointing if he can’t mount a bold follow-up bid under his penalty.
THE LACEMAKER was well on top at the finish when resuming winning ways over C&D nine days ago, and, still potentially well treated judged on the pick of her form, she is fancied to make it two wins in quick succession with the tongue strap now added. Kath’s Lustre was also a winner last-time-out and could be the one to give the selection most to do.
KAMRA must concede race fitness to his five rivals here, but he is certainly well-handicapped if arriving in anything like top form and could be the way to go on his first start for Michael Appleby, who looks to have assembled a typically strong all-weather team for the winter months.
WIMPOLE HALL is only 2 lb higher than when ending his long losing run at Chelmsford last month and remains one to keep onside with that confidence booster under his belt, especially as he was rated higher still in his prime.
Michele Strogoff and the unexposed three-year-old Aegeus are others who might have a say in proceedings.
GRACIOUS JOHN ran his best race since the spring when finding only one too good at Chelmsford last time, simply looking much more at home back on the all-weather. A listed winner over this C&D back in February 2018, he remains potentially well treated if building on the promise of that latest outing and is fancied to resume winning ways here with a defeat of the consistent Prince of Rome.
CORONATION COTTAGE was a game winner of her penultimate outing at Wolverhampton and ran at least as well in defeat when third (beaten just a head) over the same C&D last time, almost lasting out after attempting to make all.
Malcolm Saunders’ charge can race from the same mark in the finale and is well worth the chance to go in again, stll unexposed on the all-weather.
*Prices and entries correct at time of publishing