SIGLO SIX progressed steadily last year, doing notably well to come from as far back as he did when scoring in a Sandown handicap in August. He produced a below-par effort on his most recent start at Wolverhampton in November, but he has been gelded over the winter, and he may well have more to offer this campaign.
This is a wide-open contest however, with Tough Remedy, Star Shield and Amplification all holding solid chances.
SANDRET enjoyed a productive first season last year, adding a third minor event to his tally with a ready victory at Doncaster in September before producing a solid effort when fourth in an all-weather handicap on his final start.
He may not be entirely straightforward, but he looks to be going the right way and remains unexposed on artificial surfaces, so he appeals as the one to side with. Dark Vision is feared most from a reduced mark.
CANAGAT showed plenty to work with when third on his debut, getting to grips with his job relatively quickly after a sluggish beginning, leaving the impression there was more to come. He duly proved that to be the case when getting off the mark at the second attempt in a Kempton maiden in November.
That race panned out better for him than for some of his main rivals, but he showed plenty of professionalism to get the job done and remains open to improvement, so he gets the nod on his first foray into handicap company.
In a field of largely exposed handicappers, it is the lightly-raced four-year-old MUBAKKER who immediately catches the eye.
Sir Michael Stoute’s charge looked a smart prospect when making a belated winning return at Kempton in September, and, though he was below his best on turf when last seen, he could easily regain the progressive thread here – especially returning to the all-weather. Consistent sort Camacho Chief warrants respect on his return to action and looks the pick of the remainder.
LOCKDOWN boasts a speedy pedigree, being a son of Charm Spirit and a half-brother to several winners – including useful six-furlong winner Fuente.
His dam, Bounty Box, was also a smart winner over six furlongs – including as a two-year-old – so Hugo Palmer’s colt certainly appeals as a likely type. Sound Reason and Strike Red are also worth keeping an eye on, particularly if the subject of any significant market support.
ANDRONICUS BEAU, a €56,000 yearling, makes the most appeal on paper. A Gutaifan colt, his dam was also a winner over five furlongs, and any support for Tom Dascombe’s charge would surely prove significant.
Internationaldream and Emirati Dirham also boast impressive pedigrees and should be monitored in the betting.
A half-sister to the useful five-furlong winner Liberty Beach, who is also trained by John Quinn, VIRGINIA PLANE catches the eye on her debut.
She is bred to be an early type, so is given the nod ahead of Electric Blue, who may need further than this. Imperial Butterfly and Aish are also on the shortlist.
Mark Johnston can ready a two-year-old to score at the first attempt, and his representative PELEKAI is entitled to plenty of respect on her debut.
She is a half-sister to useful two-year-old 6-furlong winner Premier Power, out of a dam who won over 7 furlongs as a juvenile. Desert Vision is another who makes appeal on paper and is worth noting if market vibes are particularly strong.
UNIT OF ASSESSMENT won twice at Kempton and once at Goodwood in the first half of 2019. He also ran creditably at Catterick on his final outing in October, simply bumping into a couple of progressive three-year-olds who were better treated.
He remains fairly treated himself, however, and should go well if he is ready to roll on his return. Potential improver Mountain Ruler is feared most on his handicap debut.
MEDAL WINNER left his debut form well behind when running to a fair level at Redcar last June, finishing runner-up, and he improved another chunk to get off the mark at Brighton the following month. He stayed on strongly to draw clear in what was a far better race than is the norm for the course.
He has been off the track for 11 months, but remains open to further improvement and there is every reason to think that his opening mark may underestimate him. Moll Davis proved herself a most progressive young filly last term and could have more to offer this year, making her the chief threat.
* Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change.
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