This is a tricky handicap and there are a couple you could pick, but as you go down the field, PRINCE OF HARTS is the one who could have a little bit in hand of the handicapper.
He’s coming in here off a mark of 92 and it’s also his first run for trainer Stuart Williams and his new connections who paid £170,000 for him last year, which is a pretty high fee for a horse who has only previously won a Class 4.
That win came on heavy ground at Windsor and conditions should be testing all weekend here. A few of these may have reached their ceiling mark – whereas, off 92, I don’t believe Prince Of Harts has.
He just looks like a horse who will thrive on soft ground and that looks key this weekend. Hopefully, Prince Of Harts can make hay here.
This is a bit of a novelty race and it is for grey horses only – despite the fact that two non-greys tried to enter it earlier in the week. This may be a spectacle but is actually a pretty good race and the 6 furlongs at Newmarket tends to throw up course and distance specialists.
CASE KEY is impossible to look past and won this three years ago on soft ground and that should give you a little bit of hope.
If you look back on his two runs this year, he won at Leicester but was arguably even more impressive in defeat at Yarmouth, despite being beaten into second.
The horse that beat him at day has gone in again and is now 20lbs higher in the ratings. He looks really well handicapped on that Yarmouth run, he loves the course and distance too and Case Key sets the standard here.
Dream of Dreams is probably where you would start in this race as this is his first time out of Group 1 company in over a year.
He’s just a hard horse to win with though, he runs well at Ascot and the Diamond Jubilee course and distance suits him down to a tee. But, you just struggle to back him at the kind of price he’s going to go off at.
A real 7-furlong specialist on soft ground is what you want, and this is right up GLORIOUS JOURNEY’s street every single time. Crucially, he’s had a blow out at Goodwood and he was too keen, as he always tends to be on his seasonal debut.
There’s nothing wrong with the form of that run if you look at what the winner that day Space Blues is doing in France – even if Glorious Journey was a bit behind him that day. There’s a bit of cheap speed in front of him in this too, which means he’ll get a lead and that’s also a plus.
He won this last year too and I just can’t look past him to do it again.
HMS PRESIDENT is my pick for this one and Eve Johnson Houghton has two in this race. Her other entry is a pretty unexposed one called Ridgeway and he may take over some of the market as it is his first time in a handicap off a decent enough win.
HMS President is kind of the opposite to him, he run in a couple of good races before in this career and placed in both of them. Importantly, those runs came on soft ground, so we know he can handle it that way.
Jockey Tom Queally could find the key to him as well, because he can be a really keen horse and Queally tends to do well with those types. I believe he’ll drop HMS President into mid-division in the race to settle him.
It’s a straight mile and he’s off a mark of 83, which he has been competitive off before. I’d find it hard to see him out of the frame in this one.
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