This substandard novice for the track may go to TWILIGHT CALLS, who didn’t find much when in the clear on his debut at Newbury in July, but had travelled well for a long way before meeting some trouble and is very much a potential improver with the experience behind him.
Strictly speaking, Newbury second Dandys Derriere holds the selection on that form, so even with a penalty this all-weather winner may well make a real fight of it. Pure Dreamer is third best.
The suggestion is LOCKDOWN, who was disappointing last time but sets a reasonable standard on close seconds at 5 furlongs twice previously. Perhaps a fourth run in just over five weeks was too much last time and on pedigree the selection ought to stay 6 furlongs without a problem.
Newcomer Muay Thai may be the main danger.
There is very little to go on in terms of racecourse evidence, so the betting will tell plenty more. The one who makes the most appeal on paper has to be Enable’s half-brother DERAB, who holds a Derby entry and whose top trainer won this with a debutant last year.
There are some other extremely interesting debutants in against him though, with La Barrosa next best ahead of Greatgadian.
This looks competitive despite the single-figure field, with On To Victory and the hat-trick seeking pair Labeebb and Look Closely among those of strong interest.
Preference though, ahead of Look Closely, is for LAAFY whose second in a top handicap at Haydock two starts ago reads very well in this lesser context.
A tight classified stakes in which marginal preference is for MARRONNIER, who caught the eye at Sandown last time when shaping as if a return to winning ways was imminent and whose versatility as regards the ground is another plus.
Lightly raced three-year-olds Al Salt and Grove Ferry are big dangers, with Al Salt slightly preferred.
Roger Charlton’s Tempus looks sure to go well in his bid to make it four wins from his last five starts but this is no easy task.
Afaak, best of those ridden patiently when fifth to Tempus at Newbury, is likely to be closer this time and Walhaan remains of interest after his eye-catching course effort in July.
However, the vote goes to GIN PALACE (NAP), who did really well to finish a close second at Sandown after sitting close to the strong early pace.
This puzzle looks hard to crack, but the vote goes to PUNCHBOWL FLYER who took so well to the blinkers last time with an authoritative win.
My Style is another who has raised his game in blinkers and may be the chief threat, although Minhaaj also left a positive impression when winning his latest start.
Intrepid Italian is an improving three-year-old and Stone Soldier would make particular appeal if the ground is softer than good.
Sunset Breeze will find this easier than his latest assignment and probably still has potential, but the one with the most obvious scope for improvement is DOUBLE OR BUBBLE. She makes her handicap debut after only two starts and was returning from a one-year absence when winning a Sandown maiden last month.
Mottrib disappointed when last in action, but remains unexposed and will be dangerous here if able to build upon his promising handicap debut at Glorious Goodwood two starts ago.
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