On paper this is potentially a hot event and the superbly-bred FAST START is taken to make just that with victory, after all he’s the youngest of these.
Meshakel cost half a million, is out of a smart one who won on debut and hails from a yard that has made a flying start with its juveniles, so he’s another obvious player. Proclaimed also makes the shortlist ahead of the all-important market clues.
Several of these promise to be better than handicappers, particularly BRAD THE BRIEF, who came clear in fine style in the mud at Newmarket when last seen.
He’s been gelded and can prove his mark of 90 to be lenient with victory for Haydock’s leading trainer/jockey combination. Gobi Sunset and Clareyblue are of real interest also, the pair of them likely to be prominent early.
SIR OLIVER proved a different proposition when trying 5 furlongs for the first time at Kempton back in February. That was his first run since a gelding operation, and he forged clear under an attacking ride, suggesting he can follow up to make it two from two this year.
Vardon Flyer rates as the chief threat on paper making his reappearance, while Galadriel and Dear Power aren’t without hope, either.
DANCIN INTHESTREET is bred to be a sprinter, so the drop to 5 furlongs may prove to be ideal (she was a tad free over longer trips last year), and with the Wolverhampton race she contested on final start working out particularly well, her opening mark looks a lenient one.
Garsman defends an unbeaten record for his connections, while former stablemate My Friend Stan is interesting for Mark Johnston.
A cracking handicap in which a case can be made for all, but the progressive THEMAXWECAN is given the nod given he represents the flying Mark Johnston yard and remains unexposed at staying trips.
Just Hubert is another likeable staying four-year-old who can’t be ruled out lightly, while Moon King and Blue Laureate are two others to consider in an intriguing contest.
A case can be made for plenty of these, but the most persuasive one is for QUEEN GAMRAH. She arrives firmly on the up and looks to have got in on a lenient mark after her excellent Wolverhampton second.
Mark Johnston has his string in great form and she rates the type that will have more to offer this year. Newmarket nursery winner High Flying Bird heads the list of dangers, while Kuwait Shield and El Naseri are both worth considering too.
ARCH MOON was a progressive two-year-old and, with another step forward, he could have enough to overcome the consistent Phuket Power, provided that rival doesn’t have an easy time of it in front.
Ralphy Boy Two should benefit from the step up in trip, so he’s also on the radar.
SAISONS D’OR pulled clear of the remainder when second at Newcastle a week ago, so he boasts obvious claims racing off the same mark with the advantage of a recent run to his name.
As such, he takes preference over the Richard Fahey-trained pair Zip and Right Action, with the latter preferred based on his excellent record fresh.
AQUILEO showed plenty of ability in a couple of starts as a juvenile and, with improvement expected now his attentions are switched to handicaps/upped in trip, he gets the nod with his yard amongst the winners.
Alargedram, Dusty Dream and Win O’Clock similarly rate likely improvers now embarking on their three-year-old campaigns and head up the dangers.
HARMONIOUS shaped encouragingly amidst obvious signs of greenness in a pair of all-weather outings earlier in the year and, with improvement on the cards now handicapping, he can make a bold bid under his excellent young rider.
Bondi Sands appeals as a typical three-year-old improver for Mark Johnston and, along with Nibras Wish and Bharani Star (if taking up this engagement), heads up the dangers.
* Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change except on our snazzy new bet widget which is bang up to date.
- All the latest racing previews from Ireland and the UK are just a click away
- Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke’s punts for the return of Irish racing at Naas on Monday
- Horse Racing tips: A fantastic 5 from Aidan O’Brien to slot into your tracker