Bollin Margaret is slightly ahead of the handicapper under the penalty for her very convincing Thirsk win 11 days ago, while Poetica did well to finish fourth after encountering traffic on her recent handicap debut, but another chance is given to GOLDEN HIND.
David O’Meara’s filly may not have been suited by the heavy ground when a beaten favourite at Catterick last month and the form of her earlier fourth at York reads very well in the context of this lower-grade race.
Preference is for Mark Johnston’s GHUMAMA, who went very close at Goodwood on her recent debut and pulled clear with the winner in that race.
The big danger is Urban Violet, who finished one place behind Ghumama at Goodwood, but seemed to take a major step forward with her creditable third in a useful small-field conditions event at Newbury last week.
Tiki Fire has each-way claims on her drop back in trip, while a newcomer to keep a close eye on is Brunnera, who has a striking pedigree.
With Desert Palms looking in need of further and King Of Stars and Crantock Bay having to prove their effectiveness on the all-weather, this should go to HIGHER KINGDOM, who probably found firm ground against him when beaten last time and remains a colt of some potential.
Pivotal Decision may be the best of the newcomers, while it would be no surprise to see St Anne’s step up on her debut display.
Most of these have plenty to prove, but LORD OF THE GLEN ended his losing run with a late thrust over course and distance 17 days ago and he may well be able to strike again off 3lb higher here.
The main threat could come from Gorgeous Gobolina, who had an excuse from a tough draw at Musselburgh last time and remains feasibly treated on her close call at Catterick last month.
Another who could be in the mix is the veteran Lucky Beggar, who is interesting on his creditable effort at 6 furlongs here on his penultimate run.
An open contest. War Defender, Algaffaal and Proclaimer are of interest at the bottom of the handicap, while Mutalahef is worth a market check on his handicap debut and La Rav, Lasting Legacy and Anif have good course form to their name.
However, DAAFR has won three times on Tapeta and arrives on the back of a creditable second on Polytrack and he gets a narrow vote.
Recent Chelmsford winner Seas Of Elzaam could have more to offer over 7 furlongs and is respected, but the one with most potential is SEA STORM (NAP)
She greatly exceeded market expectations when placed over course and dustance on her recent stable/handicap debut. That was only the third run of her career, and her first since March 2019.
Thaayer looked in excellent nick here on his latest outing and is another to consider.
Although he has been off the boil of late, ROCKLEY POINT may be capable of a revival now back at a track where he performs well.
The Bull could be better for a recent run and return to being more competitive, while Muatadel and Broctune Red are others to consider.
In a weak race, keep an eye on the market, and with particular reference to stable debutante Switzer.
This could be a good opportunity for the unexposed BLUE CABLE to make a winning handicap debut, with the step up in trip a positive.
The chief threat to the selection may be the consistent Great Colaci, while Clotherholme and Midnight In Havana should be thereabouts.
An open race in which the vote goes to prolific winner LUCKY LODGE, who went close at Wolverhampton last Saturday and remains well treated off 3lb lower than for his last success over C&D in January.
The progressive three-year-old Dream Together is feared most, though Devil’s Angel is 2-4 at this track and he’s respected back on Tapeta.
Epeius could be a big factor if this sets up for his closing style and a similar comment applies to Buccaneers Vault who was a good third in this race last year.
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