River Dart snapped a losing run at Kempton last time, finding plenty under pressure to cash in on a falling mark. He has gone up only 3 lb for that success, so still looks fairly treated, and Tony Carroll’s string remain in fine form. Capricorn Prince finished fourth in the handicap won by River Dart last time and is expected to give another good account. He could be the main danger.
Given her hold-up style, Miss Elsa needs a good pace and luck in running to be seen to best effect, but she shaped like a well-handicapped horse when finishing fourth over course and distance last time and is worth siding with. Plenty of her rivals like to race prominently, so there is a good chance that she will get the strong pace she needs, and she can take advantage of a fair mark.
Amaretto has been off the track since August but he won on his return over course and distance last year, so being fresh is no concern. He has run well off this mark a few times and looks fairly treated. Highway One came home well when a never-nearer runner-up over course and distance last time, and she is considered the main danger.
Bank Holiday didn’t show much in maiden company but she produced an improved performance to finish a close-up third on her handicap debut at Wolverhampton last time, seemingly relishing the step up in trip. She kept on strongly on that occasion, shaping as if a further step up in trip would suit, and she is certainly bred to appreciate this stiffer test. She will continue to improve with experience and the emphasis being placed on stamina, so is one to be positive about.
Ivan Furtado has his string in superb form and he can notch another winner with Captain St Lucifer, who was an 80/1 shot on debut but showed plenty to work with when third. He was pushed along three furlongs out and forced wide on the home turn, but he ran on well close home, suggesting that he would come on for the experience. He sets the standard on form and will prove difficult to beat if improving as expected.
First Link is on a long losing run and her recent form figures are not encouraging, but she has been shaping better than the results might suggest. She produced an especially encouraging effort on her latest start here, travelling strongly but meeting trouble in running when attempting to launch her challenge from a disadvantageous position. She finished strongly, highlighting that she is in good form, and is worth chancing here.
Quiet Word produced her best effort yet when going close over course and distance last time, finding only one too strong. The rival who overhauled her inside the final furlong has since won, adding some substance to the form, and she could have a bit more to offer after only six starts.