Secret Handsheikh has to concede weight all round, but he dug deep to win at Bath last time and he’s landed the plum draw here.
He’s respected but Ballintoy Harbour and ANCIENT TIMES are likely improvers and the latter can step up on his debut third, form that’s been well advertised since.
Ralph Beckett is 5-10 with his two-year-olds here in the last five seasons and £300,000 July breeze-up buy MEU AMOR holds leading claims today on the back of her promising debut fourth at Glorious Goodwood.
Kingmania made an encouraging debut at Newbury and is feared most, ahead of York third Keeping Secrets. Newcomers International Lady and Kornflake hail from powerful northern stables and should be monitored in the betting.
A few of these could use some rain to be seen to best effect. Epeius can go well if his draw doesn’t hold him back, but course regular Round The Island and KNIGHTCAP might be the pair to focus on.
The latter, who met all sorts of trouble when trying to launch her challenge at Newcastle last time, could be the answer.
Improving three-year-old Lincoln Gamble isn’t sure to appreciate the drop back to 6 furlongs and he could prove vulnerable up 6lb for a Redcar win where he was favourably drawn.
Jordan Electrics can make another bold bid from the front, but course regular MR ORANGE looked on the way back here a fortnight ago and can come out on top.
James Given’s horses continue to run well and MANY A STAR (NAP) is taken to follow up his Doncaster reappearance win. Stablemate Stone Soldier could be the main danger having made late headway over an inadequate 5 furlongs at York last time.
Magical Max is next on the list, with Treble Treble, Melody King and Benefit Street others to consider in an open race. Breath Of Joy arrives in good form, but the drop back from 7 furlongs isn’t an obvious plus.
Last year’s runner-up Shades Of Blue is a solid candidate on the back of a Group 3 fourth at York but this could go to the progressive three-year-old CASPIAN QUEEN, who was making late headway when denied a clear run in a 5-furlong handicap at Glorious Goodwood last time out.
The lightly raced Magical Journey is second choice, ahead of Shades Of Blue, but this is pretty open and Burmese Waltz, Exceptional, Jouska and Stormy Girl are others who could get involved.
Fun Mac may prove best of the older brigade but he’s up against two progressive three-year-olds in the shape of Frankenstella and REVOLVER.
Frankenstella bolted up over C&D last time but she’s in deeper today and the selection, who has already won five times this year, may have further progress in him over this new trip.
Rudaina ran well in a good race at Newbury last time and ought to have more to come but TAWREED could be the answer.
She was very green on her Yarmouth debut, but there was plenty of promise in her finishing effort and she should be much more streetwise today. Arabian Maiden is a well-related newcomer who needs a market check.
There are some interesting three-year-olds in the line-up, but the lightly raced four-year-old MANKAYAN appeals most, having bumped into a well-handicapped winner when second at Ascot last time.
Damage Control could be the chief danger, having run respectably in a hot three-year-old handicap at Glorious Goodwood. The unexposed Sir Michael Stoute-trained Prince Imperial is next on the list.
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