CHARLIE FELLOWES has proved somewhat expensive to follow – still a maiden after six runs – but he has been firmly knocking at the door over the last month or so, finding just one too good on his last three outings.
The application of first-time cheekpieces could eke out that little bit of extra improvement and perhaps this can finally be his day.
NAAMOOS shaped encouragingly first time up at Wolverhampton recently, not having enough to compete with the odds-on winner – who had the benefit of a previous run – but keeping on well from the home turn and pulling 5 lengths clear of the remainder.
He is likely to improve on that effort and is the one to beat.
MARKAZI shaped better than the bare result suggests when eighth at York last time, looking in top form but just stretched by the step up in trip.
He won off 1lb higher than this mark at Ayr last year and is one to be interested in now dropped back in both trip and grade.
ALJADY has quickly progressed into a smart sprinter since joining Robert Cowell’s yard, making it three wins from five starts this season when pulling well clear at Sandown last time, his most impressive victory yet.
The 5-furlong distance looks to really suit him, and he doesn’t have that many miles on the clock for a sprinter of his age, so he is expected to continue his forward momentum and rack up his fourth win for this stable.
ROYAL BRAVE hasn’t won for 21 runs, but he is now virtually as low as he has ever been in the weights and from a stable, in Rebecca Bastiman’s, that is really ticking at the moment.
He was strong in the betting at Musselburgh last time and looked unlucky not to finish even closer than he did, a gap on the rail not opening up fully in time, leaving him to finish strongly for third.
He can surely make amends from this sort of mark.
WILLIAM ALEXANDER looked to have benefitted from the application of a first-time tongue strap as he produced a career-best effort to open his account over this course and distance last week.
He come in for a good ride from a difficult draw, finishing well on top after he and Stone Mason pulled nicely clear of the remainder.
Another bold show is likely, and he gets the vote to once again edge out his reopposing rival.
VALYRIAN STEEL’s debut at Newcastle back in June was a tale of two halves, the Frankel colt was clueless early on and left in a far-from ideal position as a result. But, his sire’s influence shone through late on as he slowly but surely reeled in the long-time leader, despite again showing inexperience under pressure.
Those exploits are backed up by the clock, and with plenty more to come from Roger Varian’s charge, he looks one to keep firmly on side.
CONTRAST was well backed and ultimately unlucky not to take advantage of an attractive-looking mark (1lb lower than his mark here) over this course and distance last time, the combination of a troubled passage and being held-up in a steadily run race too much to overcome.
He then backed up that effort when again finishing second at Newcastle last time, higher in the weights on the all-weather but still looking well treated, turning in his best effort for some time and only losing out to an unexposed sort.
He is 6lb lower now returned to turf and looks capable of getting his head back in front in this sort of form.
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