STAY COUL has improved with each run, shaping reasonably well under considerate handling – particularly on his two most recent outings. He appeals as a likely improver now sent handicapping, with the step up in trip also likely to eke out further progression, so he gets the nod to make a winning start in this sphere.
SPIRIT OF ROWDOWN hinted at ability when fourth on handicap debut at Kempton in August, doing well to finish as close as he did from a long way back, and he built on that run at Lingfield last time, belying big odds to finish second. He is receiving weight all round in this contest and holds solid claims of getting off the mark.
Those with previous form don’t set too high a standard, so it could be worth chancing the debutant TOP OF THE POPS. The Kingman colt is a half-brother to several winners, including the high-class Poet’s World, and, given no trainer has saddled more first-time-out winners than his trainer Mark Johnston this season, Top Of The Pops makes plenty of appeal.
RED FASCINATOR confirmed her debut promise when getting off the mark at the second attempt at Ripon in July, taking a big step forward to win by just under four lengths. She was unlucky not to follow that up over the same course and distance the following month, finishing a half-length second after stumbling badly over a furlong out.
She could not maintain that form in Group company at Ayr last time, but that run is worth forgiving given she was caught wide of the main action. She remains open to further improvement and can take advantage of this return to calmer waters.
This contest looks as though it will revolve around the newcomers, and Martyn Meade’s WALTZING makes the most appeal on pedigree. Purchased for 120,000 as a yearling, the son of Kodiac is a brother to both Komedy and On Her Toes, while his dam was herself also a winner. He gets the vote to make a successful debut.
REDEMPTIVE landed a pair of handicaps at the end of the summer, taking advantage of being turned out quickly under a penalty to bring up the double at Lingfield. She looked as though she was heading back towards that sort of form when fifth at Kempton last time, shaping better than the distance beaten suggests, twice finding her path blocked on the inner. Her mark is still a fair one and she looks a major player now dropped into a seller.
Following a gelding operation, ASCENSION found a bit of improvement to open his account for the season at Newmarket in August. He progressed again when following up at Ayr last time, seeming to relish chasing the strong pace as he kept on well to win with a length and a half to spare. He has now won four of his eight starts and is perhaps not done improving just yet, so he gets the vote to bring up the hat-trick.
BAD COMPANY hadn’t really been seen to best effect racing over a mile or less for the first part of the season, but he showed much improved form to get off the mark stepped up in trip at Windsor in August.
He seemed to relish the extra distance as well as the heavy conditions, and he followed that up with a comfortable victory at Nottingham last week. He goes unpenalised for that win and seems likely to go well again in his hat-trick bid.
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