A trappy starter to the card complicated further by the absence of any recognised front-runners. Therefore, Line Of Reason isn’t sure to get the strong pace off which he finished well to prevail on the other course here last month. HAN SOLO BERGER, behind him on that occasion, has since come out to win well in a higher grade and this C&D winner can keep his good run going. The danger might be Ginger Jam, despite his tough mark.
Progressive Rating was good value for his defeat of Exceptional in a traditionally strong C&D handicap at the big meeting here two weeks ago and should confirm those placings, provided that after nine months out he can take two races in relatively quick succession. However, there are others to consider and all things considered BROUGHTONS GOLD did really well to finish so close at Haydock last time. He too is on the upgrade and returning to quicker conditions should benefit.
Dhahabi has some pedigree and cost a cool 3.1 million guineas, so if at all strong in the market he’d be hard to resist. As things stand preference is for the other Godolphin representative, WILD LION, who for one so weak in the betting ran surprisingly well in a good-looking Yarmouth novice. New Mandate also shaped with considerable promise when made favourite for his debut at Ascot and he won’t be far away.
Four of the nine runners won their most recent starts, including Pretty In Grey and Cry Havoc who both have to prove they can transfer their smart Polytrack form on to turf. There are no such issues with INDIE ANGEL who was impressive when beating Odyssey Girl over C&D a fortnight ago and even an 8lb higher mark may not stop her from following up.
John Gosden runs a couple of choicely bred newcomers and it will be interesting to see what the market says about them. A few of these have already shown good form, though a 7lb penalty may be enough to find out Maurimo, while Defence Girl is proving consistent but may be vulnerable to an improver. Preference is for DECLARING LOVE who finished a good second over C&D a fortnight ago and has a great chance on that form back against her own sex.
This looks tricky. Jalwan and Ahdab remain open to improvement, while Turntable has to be respected following his convincing success from 18 rivals at Doncaster last time, but it may be worth taking a chance with MAKAMBE. His last three wins have come on the AW, but he is a dual winner on turf who appreciates a sound surface and is back off his last winning mark.
There may still be more to come from the unexposed Away He Goes who has been gelded since last seen, whilst any easing of the ground would bring Badenscoth into the argument. However, BREATH CAUGHT (NAP) ran really well when only just beaten over 1m2f at Epsom last time and can confirm that form with both Data Protection and Ironclad.
Three of these, Eternal Prince, Fonzie and Josephine could improve quite a bit from their respective debuts, but LABEEBB sets a fair standard having been demoted after finishing first past the post at Wolverhampton on his second start. He can gain compensation.
A small field and this may become tactical even though all five of these have made the running at least once in their recent starts. Charlie D is a tough cookie who won’t go down without a fight, but there was plenty to like about BAASEM‘s reappearance at Ascot a fortnight ago and he still doesn’t have many miles on the clock for a 4yo.
The racing Post’s tips for Newmarket today
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