Not many of these make much appeal and the most interesting contenders are Worden Park and GORGEOUS GENERAL. The former has shown clear promise in Redcar novice events in her last two runs and is open to more progress on her handicap/AW debut. But, preference is for Gorgeous General, who has a record of 5-16 in handicaps at this track and pulled 6 lengths clear with the winner when only beaten a nose over course and distance last time.
There are several options, and the pick may be BLACKCASTLE STORM who showed a bit on turf last time and won in March on his only visit to Southwell. Native Silver, with his course record, is feared despite his recent results on turf, while Challet has been doing very well on turf and Amadeus Grey was runner-up over C&D on his latest outing.
The freegoing Amor De Mi Vida was disappointing with her sights lowered back in a novice at Kempton last time, but she sets a fairly useful standard on her York win in July and this drop back to 5 furlongs looks a good move. She’s respected on this switch to Fibresand, but slight preference is for Robert Cowell’s colt BARBAROMA, who produced a powerful finishing burst when going close over C&D three weeks ago and has plenty of scope for further progress after only two starts.
The most striking contender is EXALTED ANGEL (NAP), who has found stacks of improvement back on Fibresand and surged clear when a completing a C&D double two weeks ago. He’s 10lb higher here, but had plenty of today’s rivals behind him and he may well be able to strike again to make it 3-4 at this track. The main threat could come from King Of Stars, who has not been with Mick Appleby for long and put in a dominant display in a 5-furlong maiden here 14 days ago.
Son Of Red with his two recent places and Mr Carbonator with his proficiency at Southwell are two noteworthy candidates but, at the foot of the weights, Grand Pianola and SEA OF SHADOWS could also figure. The Mick Easterby-trained selection is lightly raced, so might have more to offer, and she showed she stays 1m 4f last time.
Arzaak has a striking record at this track and he should be in the thick of things, while Sir Rodneyredblood has made a bold bid at Kempton in his last two runs and has claims if he can transfer his form to this new surface. However, the one that appeals most is the unexposed handicap newcomer MAY THE SIXTH, who showed a good attitude when beating an odds-on rival at Wolverhampton 24 days ago and looks on a fair opening mark on this switch back to Fibresand.
Most of these have quite a lot to prove, but Ivan Furtado’s lightly raced SWEET ANGEL found improvement on her Fibresand debut when going close over C&D three weeks ago and is a major player off only 1lb higher here. Second choice is another three-year-old in Curtiz, who returned to form with his second behind a well-handicapped rival here last time. The other one on the shortlist is Six Til Twelve, who has been placed in five of his seven runs at this track and is worth another try at this trip.
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