This can go to Mark Johnston’s well-related HIGH PEAK, who sets a fair standard on his promising debut second at Newcastle 12 days ago and has plenty of scope for progress on this step up in trip. Infant Hercules and My Best Friend could be the main dangers, though another newcomer to keep an eye on is Deputy, who represents an in-form yard that had a well-backed 2yo debut winner last week.
Kilig gave it a good shot when beaten less than 2l at Wolverhampton last Tuesday and is respected on this drop back in trip but preference is for Kevin Ryan’s unexposed filly MOONLIGHTING, who showed clear promise in her last two juvenile runs and should appreciate this step up to 7f on her handicap debut. Most of the others have quite a lot to prove but Little Ted reached the frame in several handicaps on fast and slow ground last season and has each-way claims on his reappearance.
Poet’s Lady and Licit are the key form contenders, though Maharg’s Princess is also respected after her promising start at Chelmsford in March. However, it might be worth siding with RED POPPY, who didn’t live up to market expectations on her debut but this well-bred filly should know much more this time and is a likely improver for a top yard that had a record of 3-7 here last year. Godolphin’s Solar Flame is the most striking newcomer, though there are some other debutantes who need watching in the market.
The suggestion is THE BIG HOUSE who won over C&D last summer and arrives here on the back of a creditable reappearance on AW 15 days ago. Scorched Breath has been knocking on the door on AW for Rebecca Menzies and should also have a part to play if proving as effective on turf.
The form of EL JEFE’s handicap debut third at Pontefract last autumn reads well in the context of this race and he’s selected to make a winning reappearance. Aiden’s Reward did well over this trip on AW at the start of the year and will be a threat if reproducing that level back on turf. Jorgie is one who may have more to give in handicaps.
James Tate’s BLAZING HOT is open to improvement on the back of an encouraging opening effort at Newcastle 15 days ago and is preferred to Quick Recap and Sendacard, who both achieved a fair level of form when runner-up twice last year.
There’s a possibility ELECTRIC MISTRESS bumped into a really smart one on her Newcastle debut and she’s taken to build on that promise and strike at the second time of asking. Seas of Elzaam should hit the frame again, while it’ll be very interesting to see what the betting makes of the well-bred Pattaya on her rather belated debut.
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Top of the list is QUANAH, who made it three wins from his last four starts when finishing well to score at Newcastle ten days ago. He’s 3lb higher here but this resurgent 4yo still looks feasibly treated and he should get a decent pace to aim at on this switch back to turf. Almurr is feared most ahead of Fox Hill.
An open race and the market should prove informative. Paul Midgley has several interesting contenders including Indian Sounds, Van Gerwen and Gamesome, while Suwaan shouldn’t be far away and Kyllachy Warrior also has each-way claims. MYTHICAL SPIRIT hasn’t seen much action since her last win at Doncaster almost two years ago but this 6yo chased home an improver at Chelmsford when last seen in February and she gets the vote off the same mark here on her return to turf.
Baryshnikov and SUDONA (nap) both made quite encouraging returns for their respective new yards in the last fortnight and look the pair to focus on, with preference for the latter who races off the same mark as when pulling well clear of the third at Haydock nine days ago. The shorter trip is perhaps a slight concern for Cool Possibility but he’s looked a different horse since wind surgery and may well have more to offer.
- 13:00 – HIGH PEAK
- 13:30 – MOONLIGHTING
- 14:05 – RED POPPY
- 14:40 – THE BIG HOUSE
- 15:15 – EL JEFE
- 15:50 – BLAZING HOT
- 16:20 – ELECTRIC MISTRESS
- 16:50 – QUANAH
- 17:20 – MYTHICAL SPIRIT
- 17:50 – SUDONA
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