Pola Chance shaped is if better for the run after a breathing operation when fourth in a mares’ handicap at Taunton earlier this month and put that outing to good use when getting off the mark in good style at Wetherby recently.
The removal of the hood seemed to have a positive effect as she ran out a ready seven-length winner, keeping up to her work late on to pull clear of a well-backed rival. She is wisely turned out under a penalty here and looks more than capable of following up.
Stepped back down in trip, First Response produced a career best to come out on top in a course-and-distance handicap two weeks ago, staying on strongly after making good headway to lead in the last half-furlong.
The horse he beat into second has an excellent course-and-distance record at Newcastle, meaning Linda Stubbs’s charge had to be as good as ever to land the spoils. Up just 3lb for that victory, he will take plenty of beating as he bids for back-to-back successes.
After showing his first form coming from a long way back to finish fifth in a modestly-run affair at Hamilton in July, Somewhat Sisyphean turned in his best race to date when third in a Thirsk handicap the following month, despite his jockey putting up 2 lb overweight.
He was given a considerate return after a four-month break at this track last month and may improve now stepped back down in trip. He shaped with enough promise at times last year to suggest a race like this isn’t out of his remit and he may be worth siding with at a big price in this open-looking apprentice handicap.