Karl Burke’s juveniles have been going particularly well since the return of racing, and MISS MILBY shaped with an abundance of promise when finishing runner-up on debut at Beverley just under two weeks ago, covering more ground that the eventual winner but battling all the way to the line. There should be more to come from here, and can go one better here at the main expense of Aish, who is also likely to improve from her first outing at Newcastle.
This doesn’t look the strongest race of its type, and TINOCHIO is expected to make the required improvement to open his account. He is related to some sharp types, and shaped with plenty of encouragement on debut at Pontefract this month, doing better than the bare result suggests. Tinochio was dropped out from a poor draw, and was doing all of his best work in the closing stages, and he should be much sharper for that run now.
GLORY FIGHTER struggled in a light three-year-old campaign in 2019, but he shaped promisingly on his first start for Iain Jardine at Newcastle earlier this month after an eight-month break. Glory Fighter has joined an astute yard that do well with new recruits, and judged by his debut for new connections, he shouldn’t be long in resuming winning ways. It is worth remembering the Glory Fighter beat Soldier’s Call as a juvenile, who developed into a smart sprinter.
PAVERS PRIDE lost his way for Noel Wilson last season, but has since joined a yard that do very well with sprinters. He is well handicapped on the pick of his form, and looked back to his near best when runner-up at Beverley recently, travelling well after breaking from the widest draw, and pulled clear of the remainder with another who was ahead of their mark. That looks form to be positive about, and Pavers Pride has strong claims from the same mark with the visor replacing the blinkers.
Some interesting newcomers on show, but KRAKEN POWER showed plenty to work on when runner-up on debut at Pontefract this month, coming out the clear best horse at the weights having conceded 7 lb to the winner. Kraken Power had to come wide on the bend entering the straight, and challenged over a furlong out, pulling clear of the remainder. He looks well up to winning a race of this nature and sets a good standard for his rivals to aim at.
Ready preference is for Jedd O’Keeffe’s lightly-raced DEVIL’S ANGEL, who has more scope for improvement than his rivals and can race off the same mark as when a good second at Ripon. That was arguably a career-best performance, stripping fitter for his recent return, and the stiff finish at this track will suit kept to six furlongs. Phantasmal is still a maiden but wasn’t disgraced on his return so rates next best, while Global Humor could easily run into a place if in the mood.
EYE SMILING had something in hand at Chelmsford last week, showing improved form to open her account, overcoming the worst of the draw and a slow start. There should be more to come, and a 6 lb penalty doesn’t look enough to stop her if showing up in similar form back on turf. Midnite Bride appeals as a likely improver in handicaps for Kevin Ryan, while Big City went close at Thirsk last week so ought to be highly competitive off the same mark.
TRUE BELIEVER showed a good attitude when splitting a progressive pair at Doncaster 10 days ago and, in this lesser affair, she should be able to get her head in front under another positive ride. Dawaaween, who made a cracking start for her new stable at Beverley recently, looks the main threat ahead of Iconic Code.