* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
This looks a really fascinating renewal of the Summer Handicap Hurdle, with some in form and hugely progressive young hurdlers on show. There are no less than five last-time-out winners among the 15 confirmed entries, with the mare Voice of Calm a big player near the foot of the weights having travelled very strongly before putting the race to bed in impressive style at Cartmel last time out.
This represents a step up in grade for this daughter of Poet’s Voice, but she is clearly going the right way and is preferred to the likes of the hat-trick seeking Wicked West (may not be well treated on his handicap debut off 130) and Hooper.
However, she may find the equally improving selection too hot to handle. The Philip Hobbs’ runner CAMPROND was strongly fancied for the Grade Three Swinton Hurdle at Haydock Park last back end, but the wet weather put paid to his chance that day.
He is better judged on his comeback run over the course and distance when he sauntered clear of his rivals last month. Although – like the mare – this is a step up in grade, the youngster is well regarded by connections and will relish this quicker surface.
It may not be one of the feature races of the day, but I wanted to include this Class Four handicap in the value plays because I reckon that MY STYLE has been building up to this. The key to his chance here is the quick ground and with the weather forecast very much in his favour, the Holy Roman Emperor gelding has outstanding claims against his 10 rivals.
A head winner over the course and distance last year off 67, the selection has been gradually running into form this year culminating in an eye-catching fourth at Bath, beaten barely two lengths. Back down to 70 here and with plenty of pace to aim at, I expect Georgia Dobie can hunt down her rivals on the final uphill run to the line.
Of his rivals, I also expect a big run from Churchill Boy (tongue tie on for the first time) and Stone Circle. The last named has been given a real chance by the handicapper here, if he manages to find some of his old form.
With a fair weather forecast, the ground could even be on the fast side of good come race time at the Berkshire track. This valuable 2m handicap is blessed with plenty of speed up top, so should be a real test at the trip and that could suit the lower-weighted of the Mark Johnston runners.
LUCKY DEAL has finally fallen back down to a mark below three figures and although his form looks on paper to be pretty moderate, there have been mitigating circumstances over the past few months.
Last time out in the Northumberland Plate, the six-year-old looked to be coming with a long withering run, but was then checked up and bumped in his challenge at the quarter mile pole before keeping on again in the closing stages and then being bumped again inside the distance.
Dropped 2lbs for that run and with Hollie Doyle taking over in the saddle, I expect him to outrun his likely huge odds. He could run the likes of top weight and stable mate Mildenberger and easy Northumberland Plate Consolation winner Zeeband close.
Of the remainder, I could well have a saver on the veteran Withold. There is no doubt he was disappointing in the Marathon at Sandown Park last time out. But, the handicapper has given the old boy a real chance here off a rating of 105 (won this off 107 two years ago) and ground conditions will be perfect for him here.
This look a hugely open betting contest and, like the big handicap hurdle at the Lincolnshire track, there is a bundle of pace up front and they will be flying around the tight bends from pillar to post.
Last year’s third, Soloman Grey, races off a 6lbs higher mark here, but he looked sure to contend in the closing stages off this rating at Uttoxeter last time out in the Listed Summer Cup until unseating Harry Skelton four out when he sprawled on landing. Three from 12 over fences, the nine-year-old looks sure to be involved at the finish granted a clear round.
Judged on his comeback win, the wind operation seems to have worked for the Paul Nicholls-trained Darling Maltaix and there is more to come from the son of Voix du Nord. Four-timer seeking Captain Tom Cat, Fire Away and Mercian Prince all have solid claims, but this could be the optimum distance for the PINK EYED PEDRO.
A superb second over the big Aintree fences in the Topham Trophy behind the very well treated Livelovelaugh, he then looked set to win a Class Two event at Newton Abbot on his comeback before unseating at the penultimate obstacle.
Then off a career high mark of 142, the 10-year-old looked as though two-and-a-half miles around Uttoxeter was a shade on the sharp side when four-and-three-quarter lengths fourth of 18. Set to race off the same rating here, Paddy Brennan should be able to bide his time with him off what will be a rapid pace and then kick him into gear at the top of the stretch.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest racing tips
- Glorious Goodwood 2021 antepost favourites for 3 of the biggest races
- Paddy’s Hall Of Fame: Lucky No.7 could have landed HALF A BILLION – but still pays €20K
- Irish Oaks runner-by-runner guide to 2021 Classic race at the Curragh