Lots with chances in this big-field opener, but HOLDENHURST was back on song in cheekpieces last time and gets the nod to add to last summer’s course and distance win. He is now 2 lb below his last winning mark and his effectiveness at this track is a plus. Alba del Sole is in better form than last week’s efforts suggest and is a possible big threat if things fall right for her. Cappananty Con and David’s Beauty are also on the shortlist.
A very mixed bag, and the largely progressive BOBBY ON THE BEAT looks the one they all have to catch after a good second at Chepstow last month. Admittedly, he failed to land the odds on that occasion, but it was still an improved effort from him, and he sets a fairly useful standard. Soldier Lions needs to bounce back but should play a part on the pick of his form, while Kalkagana and Aldufoof might need further ideally, but are still newcomers to keep an eye on in the betting.
CAPLA SPIRIT duly bounced back when scoring under Tyler Heard at Wolverhampton recently and looks capable of defying a penalty back on turf. Both of his wins have come on the all-weather, but he proved his effectiveness on turf when third at Sandown in July, and clearly arrives in good heart. Veleta seemingly has her quirks but there’s ability there, too, and she will be a threat if building on her latest effort at Haydock. Zulu Zander and We’re Reunited are others with claims.
SONNETINA put up her best effort for a while when third over course and distance 50 days ago and looks primed for a big run off a handy mark, so she gets the nod in an open race. The in-form Elegant Love should put up a bold bid under a positive ride and Ascraeus might have a bit more to offer, so they’re also well worth considering.
SRI SENE POWER cost plenty as a yearling but failed to show a great deal in both starts last year. However, she returned after a year off the track with a cosy success at Windsor just over a fortnight ago, looking well suited by the marked increase in trip, and on pedigree she can improve further for the extra two furlongs here, so she is taken to follow up now making her handicap debut. Rosa Gold is an obvious threat having recently completed a hat-trick, ahead of stable-switcher Rock of Fame.
WHAT WILL BE is a fair performer on the level and could resume winning ways back in this sphere under a promising apprentice taking off 7 lb in what doesn’t look the strongest race of its type. Ascot Day, who has fallen below his last winning mark, and With Pleasure are a couple of others to consider.
COGITAL has made a promising start to life with this yard, left with too much to do at Chepstow last time, and is of interest off the same mark in the weakest race his has contested for this yard. Arthalot showed plenty of improvement at Chepstow and is fitted with headgear for this shorter distance, while Hollywood Road is becoming well handicapped.
RED GUNNER ran well when third, beaten just a length, behind a couple of unexposed rivals over course and distance three weeks ago and could be set for another big showing. He gets the vote over Toybox, who wasn’t seen to best effect when backed at Wolverhampton, and Essgee Nics, who has been in good form here.
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