CRUYFF TURN belied market weakness to make a winning handicap debut at Redcar a couple of weeks back, settling better than he had been doing in a truly-run race and showing improved form to hold off a reliable rival.
He should progress further back up in trip and holds leading claims here.
CONTACT looked much better suited to a mile when third at Ripon on just his second start last month, keeping on well under considerate handling.
Even though he failed to build on that at the Curragh last time, he was not seen to best effect in what was a much stiffer task than this.
This looks more his level, and with the return to a mile undoubtedly a positive, he could represent a bit of value.
BE PROUD ran well back on turf at this course last time, almost breaking his duck on the surface, staying on to lead in the last half furlong but just being headed close home.
He is deserving of a win before too long on this season’s efforts and is expected to be bang there again.
EQUIDAE has found things panning out for him quite nicely in his recent runs, but that doesn’t cast any doubt over the solidity of his form.
He came out on top to record his first win on turf over this course and distance last month, before following up at Southwell a week later, well on top at the line.
He is up 5lb for that win but, he has won off just 1lb lower in the past, and he is clearly thriving at present. His chances are hard to dismiss as he bids for the hat-trick.
ATHMAD has not been seen in the winners’ enclosure since his debut back in 2018, but back down in trip, and under a different rider, he turned in his best effort of the season when finishing second at Beverley last week. He led inside the final furlong only to be headed in the final 50 yards.
He has fallen a long way in the weights and is one to consider, particularly with Paul Mulrennan retaining the ride.
HARRISON POINT followed up his course and distance victory with an assertive win at Beverley last month.
He showed a good attitude to edge out the runner-up, and though he saw his winning run come to an end back at this venue last time, he was perhaps a little unfortunate not to have finished closer than he did.
He shaped better than the bare result suggests when third over this track and trip, unable to really pick up once stopped significantly in his run. He holds strong claims of getting back on the up granted a smoother passage this time around.
BARYSHNIKOV was placed five times in handicaps this season before finally getting his head in front at Chester last time, and there could well be more to come from him now he’s off the mark.
He travelled with enthusiasm at Chester, and after being shaken up entering the straight, he stayed on well to lead approaching the last half furlong.
He has looked more straightforward since joining David Barron’s yard and is only 1lb higher than when beaten a head at Windsor last month, so should continue to give a good account.
DARK HEART’s opening mark was a stiff one, but he did well to finish second on his handicap debut at Ripon in June. He was no match for the progressive winner, but finishing ahead of a next-time-out winner.
He ran no sort of race at Haydock subsequently, finishing seventh in the mud, but he has been gelded since then and is back on better ground here. He looks worth another chance now eased in class off a 3lb lower mark.
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