My Macho Man is the only previous winner in the field but he incurs a 5lb penalty and still strictly has something to prove on turf. The 11-race maidens I’m Digby and Diva Kareem are major contenders at the weights, while One Step Too Far and the ex-Irish GLASS OF BUBBLES are interesting types in this context. The last-named runner is taken to score on her debut for Adrian Nicholls.
Although WISE GLORY has to be forgiven a shocker when last seen in August he did at least win on soft earlier in the summer and produced a very solid effort on ground that may have been on the quick side for him at Ascot two starts ago. Mafia Power may be the best option of the remainder, though Inchicore should have some potential in handicaps if switching to soft ground and leaving off the hood doesn’t have a negative effect.
Bottom weight BRENTFORD HOPE (nap) could prove very well treated on his handicap debut, given that he created such a huge impression at Newmarket last October on his sole soft-ground start. He retains potential and looks an exciting proposition with conditions back in his favour. Fellow 3yo Win O’Clock and the progressive Rhythmic Intent may prove the main threats.
On testing ground AINSDALE looks a strong contender having recorded a hat-trick on soft/heavy last October. He’s open to further improvement with his belated reappearance under his belt. Count D’Orsay is second choice, ahead of Celsius.
Obee Jo looks more likely to run his race than most under these conditions but VENTURA EXPRESS again looked unlucky at Wolverhampton at the weekend and his turn is surely near.
Preference is for UPSTAGING. He’s not won for ages but comes here in decent form and returning to 6f on testing ground should be up his street. Inexes has plenty going for him also and is next best.
The bare form on offer is largely modest, though Thrill Seeker looks a likely improver and will be all the more interesting if the market speaks positively on his belated reappearance. His stablemate Poetry And Art is another to watch closely in the betting, while Troll Peninsula and ALEXEJ are other newcomers from leading Newmarket yards. The Gosden runner gets the vote.
Mr Millarcky has gone up the weights and will have something to prove if the ground is soft/heavy but he’s improving this autumn and has to be feared. A good alternative is JOHN CLARE, who has a solid record in C&D handicaps and holds every chance back here. Inner Circle should go well again, Woodcock is open to improvement and Dutch Story could return to his best.
The Racing Post’s tips for Leicester today
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