SHOOT THE MOON showed ability in his first two starts and after six months off, and stepped back to 6 furlongs, showed improved form to finish runner-up behind an unbeaten Roger Charlton filly, who looked a fairly useful handicapper in the making at Kempton 17 days ago.
A reproduction of that effort could see him go one better.
DELEGATE THE LADY showed the benefit of a recent run to win her first race from 1lb out of the weights at Chelmsford 13 days ago, not really needing to improve much on anything she had done before.
She needs to convert her all-weather form onto the turf here, but she remains on a workable mark and certainly needs considering.
BROUGHTONS GOLD continued his stable’s good run of form since the restart, improving significantly in running out a decisive winner on his handicap debut at Newbury 18 days ago, taking his tally to two wins from three runs.
He looked well ahead of his mark in a competitive race on paper on that occasion, and with further progress very much on the cards, a 7lb rise may not be enough to deny him the hat-trick.
RAYONG confirmed himself a fairly useful performer during his juvenile campaign, notably when winning on debut and when hitting the frame at listed level at Sandown.
He shaped really well when an excellent seventh in a big-field Royal Ascot handicap, his first foray into the handicap code, 10 days ago.
Done no favours by the draw, he made good headway under two furlongs out and kicked clear of those he’d raced with, looking very much one to note for something similar going forward. When you consider he can race off a 2lbs lower mark here, he looks the one to beat.
CALATRAVA hinted at ability over 7 furlongs on her debut, and she duly improved on that form switched to the all-weather at Chelmsford earlier this month, no match for the winner on the day but seeing out the extra furlong well.
She is open to further improvement, particularly over this trip, and may well be capable of going one better here.
ALCEDA showed much improved form to get off the mark at the third time of asking at Lingfield in February, doing well to overhaul a favourite who enjoyed first run. She will prove suited by the return to a mile and appeals as the type to go on improving in handicaps.
A 125-day absence may be a slight concern, but she looks on a good mark and is worth siding with on her handicap debut.
ARIJ showed a fair amount of ability when sixth here on his debut, and having been gelded and sporting a first-time hood, ran easily his best race when an excellent third in a Wolverhampton maiden 19 days ago, travelling through the race better than most.
He makes his handicap debut off a lenient looking mark here and is very much one to consider for the in-from Simon and Ed Crisford yard.
COUNTRY racked up a stylish hat-trick of victories last season, and though he didn’t end the campaign in quite the same form, he shaped encouragingly when third at Haydock on his return earlier this month.
He is seeming likely to make a bigger impact when moving into contention but ultimately leaving the impression that he was in need of the run after eight months off.
He appeals as the sort to do better this year, and with an outing now under his belt, as well as this step up in trip also likely to be a positive move, he rates a major player from a mark that he could well prove much better than.
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