If coping with the extra distance, the unexposed Bellatrixsa would have to be respected. Meanwhile, Ravenscar would have a good chance of at least being placed if repeating her recent third over course and distance.
But, the preference is for NIKOLAYEVA despite her sire’s modest record here. She has been in good form lately and has already proved her stamina on an artificial surface.
This looks a warm novice, with several interesting newcomers tackling a pair in Apatite and MASHKOORAH, who’ve already shown plenty of ability. The selection still looked to be learning on the job when winning over C&D four weeks ago and may be up to defying a penalty. Ray Dawson’s claim helps in that regard.
With the three-year-old contingent all having something to prove, this may be best left to BOSTON GEORGE (NAP). He’s run well in his three previous visits here, including a C&D second in stronger company ten days ago. Beatbybeatbybeat is up in grade but is considered, along with last month’s turf winner My Ukulele.
Iris Bud is an obvious candidate given she’s an unexposed handicap debutante from a top yard. She didn’t look to have any excuses over C&D last time though and both Perfect Swiss and LA RAV make some appeal in opposition.
The former has been in good form on slow turf of late and is 2-3 over C&D, but a 2lb rise for La Rav’s C&D win four weeks ago doesn’t look insurmountable. Daniel Deronda is another to consider in a warm event for the grade.
A trappy nursery in which the twice-raced TWICE ADAAY might be the answer. She’s shown promise in a couple of turf runs and looks a likely improver. Several others enter calculations, with Scarboroughdebut, Royal Jazz and Hagar completing the shortlist.
A 7lb penalty may be enough to stop York winner Lenny’s Spirit from following up and BERRY EDGE is preferred. The way he finished on last month’s Ayr debut suggests this stiff track should prove ideal and that initial experience won’t be lost on him. Ivynator has shown enough in both starts to suggest there are races to be won with him and he shouldn’t be far away.
Sargasso Sea is a very interesting newcomer, but she’s got a useful standard to aim at. Previous winners ALEXEJ and Habit Rouge are greatly respected despite their penalties.
Were he to put a modest effort here last time behind him then Etikaal could be given a chance on the form he was showing previously, but INAAM looked to be on the way back when third at Wolverhampton last time and the three-time course winner won’t have a problem with the return to this venue. Hurstwood has been running well here lately but takes on better company, though it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Strawberryandcream run well on her return.
This mainly revolves around Sassoon who finds himself 9lb well in after his two wins on turf earlier in month and the latest one at Redcar was emphatic. It remains to be seen if he can maintain his form on this different surface though.
He may be worth taking on with KAPONO, who shaped as though worth returning to this trip last time and has dropped to a favourable mark. Maurice Dancer looks best of the others.
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