Not many of these arrive in good form, and that makes KINCH standout somewhat. He has been running well at this venue over the winter, and deservedly gained due reward when winning a C&D handicap a fortnight ago.
Admittedly, he was a shade fortunate to come out on top, benefiting from the runner-up’s quirks, who was wayward in the finish, but Kinch attracted good support before the off, which suggests connections were hopeful.
A wide draw here is a bit of a concern, but Kinch is usually dropped in, and with a good pace likely, he is fancied to defy a 4lb rise. Tyconnell lurks on a lenient mark and looks one of the principal dangers, while Voyageofdiscovery is another who is well handicapped on the pick of his form and is interesting at a bigger price.
Only six runners are set to go to post, but this is a very interesting minor event nonetheless. Aerclub defied odds of 20/1 to make a winning debut over this C&D in November and the runner-up – trained by Joseph O’Brien – has boosted the form by winning their next two starts since, the latest by eight lengths.
Therefore Aerclub holds leading claims, but this will be tougher having to concede weight all round to some improving fillies. The market has recent winner FLOWER OF GARLAND as the biggest threat, and we would be inclined to agree following her six-length success over C&D last time.
She tops Timeform weight-adjusted ratings and could have more to offer for her rookie trainer, who has made a good start to his new career.
He may now be a nine-year-old, but he is still capable of decidedly useful form, and is a real force to be reckoned with at this level. His last win came in a C&D handicap from an official mark of 85 in December, and wasn’t disgraced on his next two starts before turning in a rare below-par effort over a mile here last time.
However, given his record round here, he is easily forgiven that, and returned to claiming company now, he is hard to oppose. Yuften deserves to be a short-priced favourite, though could face the sternest challenge from stablemate Tony The Gent. He arrives in good form having finished second at this level last time, and ought to make another bold bid.
This doesn’t look the strongest race of its type and looks a good opportunity for JULIET ROSE to open her account. She took a big step forward from her debut run when runner-up over C&D last time and with further improvement forthcoming, she looks the one to side with.
The well-bred Haparanda hails from a family that Dermot Weld knows well, being a half-sister to Hazapour, who finished fifth in the Derby in 2018, and out of a half-sister to Derby/Irish Derby winner Harazand. She was sent off at big odds on debut at Galway in October, and shaped well when sixth past the post (subsequently disqualified and placed last). However, the step up in trip now will help and it will be interesting to see how she fares in the market.
stepped up on his debut for this yard when a good fourth in a maiden here two weeks ago. Admittedly, that wasn’t the strongest race, and Mithmaar was sent off at odds of 50/1, but he still left the impression he has more to offer now handicapping, and is up against some exposed sorts.
The step up to a mile and a quarter should suit also given the way he stayed on at the same pace last time, and it will be disappointing if he isn’t seriously involved with the prospect of more to come.
Followme Followyou arrives on the back of a good second in a similar event, while Mademoiselle Penny is becoming fairly treated.
Joseph O’Brien’s runner seemingly hasn’t been the easiest to train, but he remains very well handicapped on the pick of his form, and has showed some positive signs since joining this yard.
He was well supported for his latest start over this C&D, but is best not judged too harshly on that run, having to come wide into the straight and encountering trouble getting into the race thereafter.
It is well worth giving him another chance to come good, a wide draw not ideal here, but a top conditional takes over in the saddle now and his claims are clear. Gougane Barra hasn’t won for over a year, but is another lurking on a good mark, and could prove the main danger having gone close over shorter last time.
Plenty in with chances here, but slight preference is for POET’S PRIDE, who produced a career-best effort when winning at this track four weeks ago. That was his first win since joining this yard, and there was plenty to like about that performance, showing a determined attitude to get the better of one who was holding his form well.
A subsequent 4-lb rise in the weights looks fair, and he can follow up with the drop back in trip holding no fears. Red Cymbal is in fine heart at the minute and rates as the biggest danger, ahead of Fit For Function and Major Power.
John Oxx’ runner remains a maiden, but is bred to be much better than this mark, and got firmly back on track after a few lacklustre efforts when runner-up over this C&D four months ago.
He’s well drawn if connections want to take up positive tactics once again, and with his mark raised only 1lb since, he holds sound claims provided he is fully tuned up on his return from a short break.
Lequinto showed much improved form when third on his handicap debut last time, so is feared if building on that, ahead of Amelia Jane and Myrcella.