Bugler Bob has finally fallen back down to a winning mark after winning over course and distance in January and along with Glory of Paris, is rightly feared in the competitive 7-furlong event for this level.
However, both may struggle to give the weight away to the lightly raced PROPHECY under the care of Nigel Tinkler.
After just the four visits to the racetrack, twice being outpaced in the closing stages over 6 furlongs, his astute trainer has realised an extra 220 yards is needed.
Being by Albaasil out of a Motivator mare that is probably a fair conclusion and with the cobwebs blown away by his seasonal debut at Newmarket, he should be cherry ripe for this challenge off a 2lbs lower mark.
Sometimes it can take a trainer a while to find the right trip for his charge and that is the wholesale story as far as COLONEL WHITEHEAD is concerned.
The three-year-old raced eight times over the minimum trip and three times over 6 furlongs before being stepped up to a seventh furlong over the course and distance last time out.
That run resulted in a career best from the son of Showcasing as he rattled home up the final climb at the Esher track to claim Dourado in the shadows of the post.
A 7lbs penalty seems fair enough in a race which will surely not take too much winning, and I suspect he will now use that guaranteed stamina to complete a double under the impressive Marco Ghiani.
Whatever the trip at the Esher track stamina is always at a premium and BE MY SIDE showed that this course and distance holds no fears for her when a closing second behind Cozone a fortnight ago.
On that occasion she was just tapped for toe two-and-a-half furlongs out before finding her stride again inside the final 150 yards.
With Cieren Fallon taking over from a senior jockey the selection now finds himself off a 1lb lower mark and with plenty of pace in the entry, the filly should get the stamina test she needs at the trip.
The biggest danger to the selection could be top weight South Coast, making her belated three-year-old debut after 304 days on the side lines. Her second to Gold Souk at Epsom in August makes her a big player here.
This basement grade 5-furlong handicap looks one of the more tricky races of the day, but it’s a race where there is very little between the leading protagonists and without one stand out contender.
For that reason, I am going to go out on a limb and play with the big-priced GOSSIP now under the care of Scott Dixon after becoming regressive for Martyn Meade. In fact, the best run of her career came on her career debut when she made striking late headway to fill third spot behind Star In the Making in a fillies’ novice event at Salisbury.
Since then she hasn’t encountered fast ground on a stiff track, so to a certain extent, I am grabbing at straws. But, there was no pace on during her seasonal return at Catterick, a track that wouldn’t have suited her style.
Leicester should be more her cup of tea and if that opening run was needed, it is not hard to see this well-bred daughter of Exceed and Excel stepping up in a race which will take very little winning.
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