Several of these debutantes look the part on paper and the market should prove highly informative. Isabella Swan has plenty of speed in her good pedigree, while Archie Watson has a couple of interesting contenders in Perfect Dream and You’ve Charmed Me. Richard Hannon’s Spark Fury is another to keep a close eye on but it might be worth siding with SANDS OF TIME, who is out of a 5f Group 3 juvenile sprint winner and represents a yard that has been in fine form since lockdown.
Pharoah King displayed significant improvement when placed over 1m2f at Chelmsford in November and it’s unlikely that performance represents the limit of his ability but DUCK AND VANISH was a very respectable sixth in a good 1m novice at Newmarket in October and, with his stout pedigree in mind, there must be a very good chance he’ll be seen to better effect over today’s longer trip. Summer House and Ministerial are arguably the most appealing among the newcomers.
Roger Charlton’s filly DANCING APPROACH made an inauspicious start to her career in November but her next two runs were considerably more encouraging and she is selected to improve again on today’s handicap debut. Sefton Warrior also has his first run in a handicap today and is second choice, ahead of Trinity Girl, Vischio and Lexington Warfare. Punting created a good visual impression when winning at Wolverhampton on her second start but the form hasn’t worked out well.
A fascinating race in which the vote goes to EASTERN SHERIFF, who produced a strong finishing burst when scoring at Kempton in November and this brother to a St Leger winner has plenty of scope for progress on this step up in trip. The other previous winners Yes My Boy and Dancing Harry are respected, while there are several striking newcomers to keep a close eye on in the market including John Gosden’s pair Grand Deed and Tao Te Ching and Sir Michael Stoute’s Chai Yo Power.
Top of the list is John Gosden’s CEMHAAN, who stayed on strongly to shake off the pursuers in a Kempton novice in March and is open to further progress off what looks a fair opening mark. Oslo and Cloud Drift are feared most, though Establish is respected at this new trip on his handicap debut and the same comment applies to Brunel Charm. Another to consider is Maysong, who took a major step forward with his win from off the pace in a 7f Polytrack nursery in December.
It won’t be a surprise if well-bred filly Led Astray leaves her very underwhelming 2yo sprint form a long way behind this season but 7f course winner ANNIE QUICKSTEP shaped very much as though ready for another crack at 1m when a strong-finishing third here in January and ought to be able to cope with a 1lb nudge up the weights. She gets the nod. Sir Havelock can also feature.
This drop back to 7f is the right move for Rivas Rob Roy who was a dominant front-running winner from stall 14 over C&D in February and has a much better draw today. However, an alternative to consider is KENNOCHA, who ended her 2019 season on a low note but proved she can go well after a layoff when winning here a year ago and is only 1lb higher today. Rajman sometimes harms his chance by racing too keenly but he won twice at Kempton during the winter and also has a C&D success on his CV.
Equally Fast was a creditable second at Wolverhampton when last seen in February and he should be in the thick of things again but preference is for SOLAR PARK, who got back on track with his clearcut win on Tapeta in March and remains well treated on his old form. Six-time C&D winner Roundabout Magic could rediscover his spark back at this trip, while Krystallite was placed behind the selection on her comeback in the spring and has each-way claims again.
Street Life came good with his two smooth wins in March and is strongly respected in his hat-trick bid, while the unexposed C&D winner Ice Ice Lady could have a major part to play back here on her handicap debut. However, the one that appeals most is PRETTY LADY, who did well to finish close up after setting a strong pace at Chelmsford in November and looks interesting dropped to 5f in only her second handicap.