Hold Fast is bred to stay well and she improved on her debut effort when finishing runner-up at Goodwood in August, unsurprisingly proving suited to the step up to a mile. The extra distance here should eke out further improvement from this promising three-year-old, and she is taken to make her experience count ahead of Nashy and Mafia Power, a couple of well-bred sorts sure to improve on their debut efforts.
After making the switch to Olly Murphy’s yard last year, St Gallen hit the ground running for his new trainer when landing a brace of hurdle races in May. He came up well short when upped in class in July, but is back on the Flat following a breathing operation, and is of plenty of interest from what appears to be a workable mark. Olympic Commander remains unexposed and a 2 lb rise for his win in February seems perfectly fair on his return.
Grandfather Tom ran up to something like his best when dominating a Nottingham handicap in July, and followed that up in a similar event at Windsor the following month. He came up short in a more competitive affair at Ascot on his final appearance but, with the knowledge that he won after a six-month break last term, he looks the one to side with. Charming Kid is unexposed as a handicapper and appeals as the type to do well from his reduced mark.
Purchased for 170,000 guineas as a yearling, Science makes plenty of appeal on paper on his debut. The No Nay Never colt, who is a half-brother to three winners, was an early foal and is with trainer Archie Watson, who has an excellent strike rate with two-year-old newcomers, so Science should be ready to do himself justice on his debut. The Richard Hannon-trained Host would certainly be of interest should the market speak in his favour.
Cold Front looked a really good prospect when a head second on debut. He went on the bridle a long way and looked in control entering the final furlong, trading at the minimum price in-running on what was very testing ground, before being caught late on. He has the scope for plenty of improvement and shouldn’t have too many problems opening his account at the second attempt.
First Receiver showed plenty to work on when an encouraging third in a strong Newmarket maiden on debut in July. He couldn’t quite match that level at Kempton in November, but he shaped as is if likely to come on for the run, again showing plenty of promise. He remains open to progress for a trainer, in Sir Michael Stoute, whose horses tend to improve with age, and though this is an above-average looking maiden First Receiver sets the clear standard and should have enough to see off his rivals.
Galsworthy made a promising start to his career when second at Newmarket, impressing with the way he got into contention, even if he couldn’t sustain the run well enough to make a winning debut. Upped to a mile and a quarter for his next outing, the John Gosden-trained Galsworthy again showed plenty to work on when third in a maiden to note (the winner looked a smart prospect and the second winning next time out) at Newcastle in November. This longer strip should suit the three-year-old, who is expected to make a winning return under Frankie Dettori.
Bred to stay well, Ned Pepper has improved since going handicapping over this trip and could still have more to offer. Things didn’t go right for him on his final start of the campaign at Kempton in October, but he is better judged on his previous efforts at Newbury and Wolverhampton, where he looked like a well-handicapped horse. A big danger could be Malika I Jahan, whose two Chelmsford runs didn’t get to the bottom of her, and a mark of 72 could underestimate her somewhat.
Rocketeer looked well treated on his handicap debut in March, and that duly proved to be the case as Mike Murphy’s charge didn’t need to improve to get off the mark, driven out to beat Rodney Le Roc by three-quarters of a length. Rocketeer is up 4 lb for that effort but remains favourably handicapped and is taken to confirm the form with Rodney Le Roc, who is expected to again be a leading threat.
Timeform’s tip summary for Kempton on Tuesday