One formline suggests there’s not a great deal between Tenth Century and Mokaman but don’t discount NACHO, who had a wide trip throughout when only a couple of lengths behind the first-named here two weeks ago.
Paul Midgley holds a strong hand and perhaps MILITIA can win his first race for the yard. He’s not been doing a lot wrong on stiff courses and this sharper 5f will suit better. Stablemate Longroom, on the other hand, probably wants a stiffer 5f these days but he still enters calculations.
The most obvious answer is PLEASURE GARDEN who, like so many others from the same stable before him, has displayed improvement since switched to middle-distance handicaps. Sir Mark Prescott’s 3yo opened his account over 1m4f at Leicester last month and can make further progress over today’s longer trip. Feebi, Irish Minister and Grimsthorpe Castle ran well in two different divisions of a 1m4f classified here a fortnight ago and, of those, the last-named appeals most.
With three newcomers among the nine runners, Richard Fahey sets a puzzle which may be best solved in the betting market. Jockey bookings suggest Polastri may be the best fancied of them but that is only guesswork so it may be more prudent to look at those who have already run and the best of them may be MOIELLA, who has quite a stout pedigree so did particularly well to finish a quite close third on her debut over 5f. The penalised Brazen Belle has to be respected along with Better By Far, while another debutante, Case Of The Ex, is bred to be speedy and is worth a check in the betting.
With black-type to her name, courtesy of two Group 3 placings, AROHA is hardly your typical eight-race maiden and she should outclass these. Dramatista may head the chase, though Newscaster is a respected newcomer.
A competitive sprint may go to MELODY KING, the least exposed member of the field who was always on the back foot from a poor draw at Windsor the last time. He didn’t run badly in the circumstances and is preferred to last year’s winner Zumurud, who can leave his comeback run behind. Strong Power could also be interesting.
This looks to be between the form horses VITARE and Rebel Soldier Boy and the probable improver Tagovailoa. Slight preference is for Vitare who looks solid on his return to 7f from 6f, even though Tagovailoa, who may emerge as the chief danger, seemed to be getting the hang of things behind him over the shorter trip last time at Windsor.
John Quinn’s SEA ART won’t be far away if repeating his latest second at Musselburgh, which represented a welcome return to form after a quiet start for his new yard. The Dancing Poet rates a solid alternative.
A weak handicap in which it would be no surprise to see the visored Caribeno take a big step forward from last week’s handicap debut at Chepstow. However, he still has plenty to prove so preference is for BARNEY BULLET (nap), who won on his first start for Rebecca Menzies a fortnight ago and is entitled to improve on that seasonal reappearance. Others to consider include Quoteline Direct, Oliver’s Betty and Black Star Dancing, while Cassidy Jo is something of an unknown quantity at the bottom of the weights.
Tips for racing at Catterick today in summary
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