There are staying handicaps on the Flat to be won with NEW MILLENNIUM, who has raced over jumps for the vast majority of his career. The step up in trip looks in order judged on what he showed at Bath last time out. Hat-trick seeking Bird For Life is probably the best option among those with experience in staying handicaps in this sphere but the Prescott-trained 3yo Lismore could be about to find something that suits her better.
Earthly has to catch the eye first with his first and second at Bath in recent weeks but there was also cause for renewed hope in THE DETAINEE‘s C&D performance last time out. Kaisan and Spice War are third and fourth on the list.
East End Girl and Island Nation have been shaping as though this step up in trip will suit them, but there is likely more to come from SCARLET RUBY (nap) who appeared to win with a bit more in hand than the neck margin would suggest over C&D 11 days ago.
With an RPR of 77 for his narrow defeat at Kempton last October, Tahitian Prince is entitled to plenty of respect on this first outing since, but there was a lot to like about the debut of DESERT DESTINATION at Salisbury three weeks ago and this choicely bred colt can make the necessary improvement to get off the mark. Sun Tide looks best of the rest on what she has shown even though she may appreciate further in time.
There are some interesting newcomers in here and the market should be informative with regard to their chances. Jockey bookings suggest Tilaawah may be the pick of the three Richard Hannon-trained newcomers, while several showed plenty of promise on their debuts including El Patron, Eva Icon and Sophie B. However, the vote goes to BHUBEZI who also made a good start to his career when fifth at Newbury and the form has already been boosted by the subsequent wins of the second and fourth.
Several of these are making their nursery debuts on only their third outings and are entitled to improve. Of that group Rainbow’s Pony, Sibaaq and Gordonstoun are perhaps the most interesting but, despite being more exposed than those three, IMPERIAL FORA is the selection. The form of his two seconds in June reads well in the context of this race and he has had valid excuses for his two unplaced efforts since.
A couple of these come into this in fair form including Intrepid Italian who has done well on Polytrack this summer. He would have a good chance if transferring that form back on to turf, but the vote goes to GAMBON whose recent tame effort on Tapeta is best forgiven. He ran well here the time before and is just 1lb higher than when winning over C&D last August. Handicap debutant Gold Zabeel is another to consider if coping with the drop to 6f.
Plenty have possibilities in this interesting race for the grade but the vote goes to Godolphin’s unexposed handicap newcomer DREAM LOCATION, who is bred to be much better than her opening mark and should appreciate this drop back to 7f. Outer Space and recent C&D winner Man Of The Sea are feared most, though Inner Circle has been knocking on the door in both his runs this season and should be in the thick of things again. Others to consider are Baltic Prince and last-time-out Kempton winner Mabo.
In an unappealing group, the vote goes to LAFONATINE who ended 2019 in good form on the AW and had excuses for last month’s well-held seasonal debut run. C&D second Amazon Princess and Vitesse Du Son may prove best of the rest.
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