Animal Instinct made good run-to-run progress in three starts last year on the all-weather and appeals as the type that will have even more to offer now handicapping. That form is starting to work out with the fourth winning their next start, and the handicapper hasn’t been too harsh with an opening mark of 79. Sir Mark Prescott has been among the winners since racing resumed and there is plenty to like about Animal Instinct’s chances here.
Martineo completed a hat-trick last year, and shaped well on his recent return to action at Yarmouth, leaving the impression he should have finished significantly closer after four months off. Martineo could be seen making smooth progress from three furlongs out, but was short of room after, having to switch inside the final furlong and finishing with running left. Martineo is now 2 lb lower in the weights, which makes him 6 lb below his last winning mark, and should have every chance back on the all-weather.
Prince Rock was out of form earlier in the year, but returned from a 12-week break back to his best and was arguably unlucky not to win, the line coming just a stride or two too soon after he had been forced to bide his time a bit and concede first run to the winner in the straight. With Stonemason in the field, who was well backed at Newcastle last time, Prince Rock may be a bigger price than he should be, and will be hard to keep out of the places if in the same form.
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