LAND OF WINTER ended last season on the up, following a win at Southwell with three runner-up finishes. He shaped encouragingly in a couple of hurdle outings in February and March, and after a six-month break, ran as well as he ever has at Redcar in August – finding only a subsequent winner too good.
He is still not fully exposed at two miles and is likely to pick up a handicap or two in this sphere before going back over hurdles.
TWILIGHT HEIR, who had finished runner-up in his first two runs, set the standard at Catterick last month and comfortably got off the mark. That race has since proved to be a warm contest, and Twilight Heir did his bit for the form when finishing second under a penalty at Ripon last time, shaping as if still in good form but potentially ridden a shade too aggressively. He is at home when the mud is flying, a positive judged on the forecast ground, and he is taken to regain the winning thread.
FARASI LANE ran his best race at Newbury last time, keeping on well to finish a close third, one of the few runners on the straight course to make an impact from off the pace on the entire card. He looks well treated on the evidence of that performance and this could be a good opportunity for him to open his account.
A winner of the Sandringham and the Prix de Bagatelle already this season, ONASSIS makes plenty of appeal as she bids to add a second Listed success to her tally. She shaped well in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster last time, sustaining a pretty big move well despite being drawn in a poor position, threatening briefly over a furlong out but ultimately having to settle for fourth. She is capable of rating higher under the right circumstances and makes plenty of appeal now dropped in grade.
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MY STYLE followed up his Newmarket success with victory at Ascot last month, again showing a good attitude to get his head in front late on, and he only narrowly missed out on the hat-trick on the Rowley course last time, just unable to edge out one who had slipped to a good mark. He has been a revelation since the blinkers went on and another bold bid is expected.
As his name would suggest, KING FRANKEL is bred in the purple – a son of Frankel whose dam was herself a juvenile winner – but he failed to meet expectations on debut, finishing last of six at Wolverhampton. He left that effort well behind on his second start however, finishing second to a subsequent winner over just under 10 furlongs at this venue last month, seeing out the longer trip well.
He’s got the makings of a useful middle-distance three-year-old. That’s why is taken to open his account at the third time of asking.
A three-time winner last year, KING’S CAPER has been running in some competitive events this term, not least the Italian Derby, in which he finished second. His sixth-place finish here in July was, in ratings terms, as good as his second in Rome.
He hasn’t performed without credit in his two starts since, either. He gets some much-needed respite from the assessor here and is a previous winner on soft ground, so a chance is taken that he can claim his first victory of the season.
RAFIOT took advantage of a reduced mark to open his account for the season at this venue last time, seemingly suited by the emphasis on stamina over the longer trip. He is stepped back to a mile here, but the forecast pace is a very strong one, which should bring his staying power into play, and he gets the nod to continue his run-by-run improvement and go in again.
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