ST GALLEN makes plenty of appeal in this 10-furlong handicap on his first start on the flat since switching to Olly Murphy. Originally trained in Ireland by John Joseph Murphy, he was a winner at the Galway festival in 2018 off a mark of 70.
He switched to Murphy during the early part of 2019 and he won his first two starts over hurdles for his new yard in nice fashion. He was 7/2 joint favourite for the Listed Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen in July of last year. He was very disappointing there, but did lose a shoe and it was a competitive race compared, so we can forgive that run.
He been off since, but St Gallen returns here off a mark of 74 (hurdles mark is 121) and if he can improve back on the flat like he has over hurdles, he should be able to strike off this mark. Oisin Murphy booked is a definite positive too.
CHARMING KID was a very useful two-year-old and was third in the 2018 Stakes, just over two lengths behind the top-class winner Advertise. He performed well on the all-weather in late 2018 and early 2019. He won a nice conditions race at Dundalk over six furlongs, before a fair midfield finish in the three-year-old all-weather championship stakes over 6f.
Since then the wheels have come off, failing to beat a rival home in his next four starts, during which his mark dropped from 97 to 83. On his last start over five furlongs at Newcastle, he bounced back to form when only beaten under a length by Tathmeen, who managed to follow up on his next start as well.
The handicapper has been extremely kind in dropping Charming Kid a pound to a mark of 82 and if he can back up that Newcastle run, he should have decent each way claims.
KENSINGTON ART is interesting in this mile and a half handicap. His last three runs were all fair runs, but the soft to heavy ground there would have been all against him and it’s to his credit that he ran as well as he did.
His last four starts on good ground or better and the all-weather have yielded two wins and two second, and he finds himself only six pounds higher here than for the last of those wins. He does drop in trip here, so Conor Murtagh (who claims three pounds off) will attempt to make this a stamina test.
Paddy is giving us an extra place here, so I think Kensington Art makes plenty of each-way appeal too, but I’m hoping he can maintain his unbeaten record on the all-weather.
This is a very speculative selection, but Nigel Tinkler is a trainer that I’m a massive fan of. The market tends to underestimate his ability and he is certainly a trainer to be aware of with his runners in handicaps.
ABSTEMIOUS is a half-brother to Triple Distilled, who Tinkler also trains and to whom he has a very similar career path. Both ran as two-year-olds for Kevin Ryan before switching to Tinkler for the three-year-old career. Triple Distilled won twice last season at York for Tinkler and is likely to not have finished progressing yet. Abstemious switched for 25,000 guineas but he was decent last year at two.
Second at York on debut behind the now 95-rated Oh Purple Reign, he followed that with an impressive win at York over 6f on soft ground. He found Group 2 company too much and was disappointing on his last start in a novice when sixth at York behind Art Power. That race has worked out well though, with the second, third, fifth and eighth all winning since, suggesting it is very useful form indeed.
Abstemious makes his handicap debut here off a mark of 85 and while it might be in a few runs time that he actually collects, he’s big price and the extra place on offer make him a tempting each way play.
MUBAAKER is very much bred for decent ground and the all-weather, and he shaped well when fourth on debut at Yarmouth over six furlongs in a race with a few nice types. His second start was over 6 furlongs at Wolverhampton and he was impressive in winning easily from Angel Alexander.
Angel Alexander went on to win last season’s Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 101, so that form looks very useful. He spent nearly a year off the track before returning to the all-weather to defy a penalty at Kempton over six furlongs again. He was joint-favourite for his handicap debut at Ascot but found the soft ground all against him.
He has been dropped a pound to a mark of 95 and looks well capable of winning off that mark, as well as maintaining his unbeaten record on the all-weather.
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