A big-runner 7f handicap where Paddy is paying the first 5 home. Lots of these have much better form on quick ground than the slower surface they may encounter here. Presidential and Breanski have previous form on slow ground and Breanski is better off at with Presidential after a very good run at Redcar last time. Herculean’s trainer Stuart Williams is a very shrewd operator, so significant support for that one should be noted. Breanski looks the most solid option.
Verdict: To me Breanski looks the most solid option.
Olly Murphy is a trainer to follow at them moment and his Fiesole and Valentino Dancer will have lots of supporters after warm-up runs on the Flat. Emma Lavelle’s string could not be in better form either and her Highly Prized comes here after a below par run in the Betfair Hurdle last February, but was an impressive winner at Huntingdon and at this track before that.
Red Force One was fancied at Thirsk on the Flat on his warm-up run for this and ran alright to finish third. His Flat mark is 87 and when you add 45lbs (to give you a rough guide to his ability at this level level over jumps) you get 132. His rating of 126 in this gives him a little leeway and he ran a blinder in 2019 when second to Gumball, with lots of good handicappers behind him.
Verdict: I’ll give Red Force One the vote with Fieslole the danger.
Lively contest for the two-year-old fillies. Dandalla was impressive in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and I loved the way she went through the race and will be tough to beat. Time Scale created a strong impression when winning at HQ over the Rowley Mile course and could be a real improver in the field.
Aidan O’Brien saddles More Beautiful who was disappointing at the Royal meeting and needs to step up markedly, unless there was an issue with haven’t yet heard about. Frankie Dettori is an eye-catching booking for Kevin Ryan’s Hala Hala Hala who won in a good time at Beverley.
Verdict: I think Dandalla will be tough to beat.
The Summer Plate is the feature race on the card and Lough Derg Spirit was sold for 90k but could get a big chunk of it back if winning this for Paul Nicholls. He has to overcome a 454-day lay-off but Nicholls will have him ready.
Potterman rattled up three wins over fences last season, but disappointed in a couple of handicaps.
Copper West won over course and distance last year on similar ground, but is 7lbs higher now. Royal Village loves the track and loves competitive handicaps and these races are run to suit him as he loves coming through horses. He was unlucky to bump into Casablanca Mix in this last year, is a very reliable performer and is my each-way pick.
Verdict: The each-way play is Royal Village.
Kipps must be thinking. ‘what have I done wrong?’ He has been narrowly beaten on his last two starts and now gets the blinkers on! He was beaten by Hukum in the King George V handicap last time at Royal Ascot who was thought of as a possible Epsom Derby contender at one stage. Subjectivist was third and subsequently finished second under a big weight in a Haydock handicap last weekend.
Grand Rock may give him most to do.
Verdict: We’ll give Kipps another chance to deliver.
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