OUT THE HAT clearly possesses plenty of ability, notably showing fairly useful form to finish third in a valuable sales event at York’s Ebor Festival. A repeat of that effort should be good enough to see him give weight and a beating to his six rivals in this novice.
COUL KAT continues in good form and again ran well to fill the runner-up spot for the second start in succession at Nottingham last week, only weakening inside the final furlong (beaten just a length). He can race from the same mark here and should mount a bold bid to go one place better, especially as he is now proven on soft going.
NAAMOOS took a big step forward from his debut to destroy the field at Beverley last time, hitting the front two furlongs out and quickly storming clear. Ultimately winning by 17 lengths with seemingly any amount in hand. That performance identified him as one who is sure to go on to better things, so he is fancied to find the necessary improvement to take this step up in grade in his stride.
THE GRAND VISIR appeals as very much the one to beat on these terms. He is a smart performer on his day, as he showed when winning at Royal Ascot in 2019. His latest effort to finish third (7 lengths behind Spanish Mission) in the Doncaster Cup also appeals as a standout piece of form in the context of this race.
CRUYFF TURN won his penultimate outing at Redcar and then ran at least as well in defeat when hitting the crossbar at Ayr last time, running green but keeping on well to be beaten only 2 lengths. Still relatively unexposed, he may yet have more to offer now stepping up further in trip and is fancied to take advantage of what remains a fair mark judged on the balance of his form.
STARTER FOR TEN showed improved form to get off the mark on his most recent outing at Leicester, seemingly relishing the testing conditions as he stayed on strongly to land the spoils by three-quarters of a length. He is only 3lb higher here and should take plenty of beating once again, still lightly raced for the Charlie Fellowes yard that has a 31% strike rate at Pontefract in recent seasons.
WHAT A BUSINESS could be the way to go in what looks an open contest on paper. He has been running consistently well in similar events of late, including when third over this course and distance last time, and this looks a fair opportunity for him to gain a deserved win.
OUR LITTLE PONY wasn’t seen to best effect when sixth at Redcar two weeks ago, putting in her best work at the finish after being left with no chance from her position on the track (poorly drawn). She is 1lb lower here and almost certainly on a good mark as she attempts to repeat her success in this race 12 months ago.
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