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BYRON FLYER is on a losing run on the Flat stretching back to October 2018, but he has come down a long way in the weights and shaped better than the bare result when seventh in a competitive heat at Chester last time.
Serena Brotherton is a positive jockey booking in a race of this nature and the visor also goes back on Byron Flyer here, so he could be worth chancing to belatedly regain the winning thread.
GIFTED RULER achieved a useful level of form as a three-year-old, producing his best effort when beaten just a short head on his final start at Newmarket. That was nearly a year ago now, so he clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train, but he’s been gelded during his absence and may yet have more to offer given his unexposed profile. A BHA mark of 92 is unlikely to prove his limit for the Tom Dascombe yard, which continues on a roll (70% of horses running to form).
RED VERDON has been struggling for form recently, but he has been a terrific servant to the Ed Dunlop yard over the years – winning nine times. He is a previous winner over this course and distance and even won this Listed heat when it was staged at Doncaster in 2020.
A smart performer on his day, he takes a significant drop in grade here and that could give him the platform to bounce back to his best and resume winning ways.
SKYRUNNER has quickly developed into a useful sprinter this season, getting off the mark on his reappearance at Doncaster in April and then improving again to follow up at Pontefract two weeks ago.
That was an impressive performance at Pontefract, making the running and then quickening clear in the final furlong to win easily by 7 lengths. We’ve seemingly only scratched the surface of his ability, so he will command plenty of respect here on handicap debut – with an opening BHA mark of 89 appealing as more than fair.
CLAIM THE STARS shaped encouragingly when third on his debut at Ayr 10 days ago, doing well to be beaten just a length given how green he looked under pressure. That form sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, while the small ‘p’ attached to his rating denotes that he is sure to improve with that experience under his belt. This looks a good opportunity for him to get off the mark at the second attempt, with the booking of Oisin Murphy also catching the eye.
LA TRINIDAD stepped up on his reappearance when sixth at this course last month, keeping on at the one pace to pass the post 5 lengths behind the winner. He has been dropped 2lbs in the weights since then and will be much more in his comfort zone at this level, contesting a 0-85 handicap for the first time since putting up one of his best efforts here last summer. He is a consistent sort on the whole and looks sure to give another good account.
ABATE could be the way to go in the finale if building on the promise of his latest effort at Nottingham. He helped to force a strong gallop on that occasion and stuck to his task well under the circumstances to be beaten only 3 lengths.
A dominant winner of his only previous start over this course and distance last summer, he has now dropped to the same mark and looks to have plenty in his favour in a typically competitive sprint handicap on the Knavesmire.
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