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A really serious looking maiden to kick off the card containing some beautifully bred individuals and none more so than Godolphin’s Lope de Vega colt out of a Teofilo mare, King of Conquest, the dam having won a Listed contest in France and then wasn’t disgraced at Group Three level at up to a mile and a quarter.
You would think though that this would be a bare minimum for him and although the betting may tell us more I would prefer a small each-way play on the Simon and Ed Crisford colt ARTAOIS who could be a bit more precocious. The Newmarket handler is very selective about his juveniles and is 13 from 24 over the past five years with his two-year-olds on turf.
John Gosden’s Spinaround is much more stoutly bred and will almost certainly need a stiffer test and Frankie doesn’t stick around at Sandown Park for another day to ride him.
Vee Sight has a lovely mix of speed and stamina in his pedigree and if supported in the market would be worth a second look along with the Dark Angel colt Hapap. But as always observing these in the parade ring allied to a market check will always be worthwhile in an all new maiden.
Trainer David O’Meara has done well with his French imports in the past couple of years and with this son of American Pharoah he could have found a well handicapped horse to go to war with on these shores. A well run mile-and-a-quarter looks TIGER TOUCH’S optimum set-up judged on his last two starts at Longchamp and this big field event has no less than two front runners and six pressers set to line up to force he pace.
We are taking a wee gamble that this well bred four-year-old has quickly acclimatised to his new surroundings, but if he has settled in then a mark of 71 on the British debut looks more than fair for this lightly raced sort.
Of his rivals, Lucky’s Dream has dropped to a very fair rating of 74 for all purpose maestro Ian Williams, while Daheer had a nice tune up on the turf for this last time out and surely has more to offer on this surface.
A really interesting and competitive extended 5-furlong nursery with Fast Response probably the pick on form following his game success over Edward Cornelius in a valuable event at Musselburgh earlier on in the month.
He is a big player here, but will be tested to the hilt from his draw out wide in stall eight and the northern raider is just about preferred. JUNGLE BEE has made solid progress in three career runs culminating in a fair third at Redcar last time out. I believe that we can upgrade that form somewhat as the chestnut colt was very free through the first furlong-and-a-half.
Stall nine obviously asks more in this better company, but slotting him in behind runners may well help him relax and he gets the vote over the likely favourite and promising Jastar.
Luck in running is going to be of paramount importance in this 17-runner spring handicap, but granted some late breaks up the hill CONCIERGE looks hugely over priced at a double figure offering.
I backed him at 50/1 for the consolation Steward’s Cup Handicap at Glorious Goodwood, but for some reason Luke Morris was at pains to settle him in the rear of that huge field and he subsequently never got in the blow, eventually eased some way from home.
Dropped a useful 2lbs for that run and in a slightly easier contest I am hoping that William Carson can get his mount buried in the middle of the pack before producing him about a furlong and a half form home.
Top weight Blue De Vega was hugely impressive when he bounced back to form at Doncaster last time out and is respected, while I have a feeling that the old boy Recon Mission will be out in front for a long way before possibly waving the white flag inside the distance.
This could be a real test of stamina with several of these set to race from the sharp end and if we get the forecast showers it could be a real battle of wills up the steep final climb.
Ravens Ark continues in good form for Hughie Morrison, but will almost certainly need a career best off a mark of 79 to land this Class Four event. The make-up of the field though will certainly suit Mick Channon’s entry SINGLE, who is a really thorough stayer at this intermediate trip.
The Nathaniel filly ran a cracking race when chasing home that super filly Eileendover at Newmarket in a Class Two event earlier in the month and certainly won’t mind the odd shower should it hit the Surrey track. Set to race off the same mark of 77 here, she is taken to get the better of Cormier despite not being obviously well handicapped.
The last named was taken out of a race at York in mid-week in search of better ground. He simply didn’t seem to act on the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton last time out and can be given another chance to supplement his previous York success off only a 4lbs higher mark.
A weight range of 15lbs between the top and bottom weights makes this a really tough fillies’ handicap to decipher. What we do know is that New Exceed is definitely on the up and Charlie Appleby’s charge looks certain to appreciate this significant drop in trip after patently failing to get home over a mile-and-a- half last time out at Newmarket.
Gal Wonder was suited by the slow pace, compounded by her running very free last time out Haydock, but she is certainly capable of better. However, the nod goes to the progressive STRAWBERRI for Roger Varian. I wasn’t bowled over by her win at Haydock Park in May, but she really stepped it up with a strong running win at Beverley over the stiff extended mile at the pear shaped track.
This extra yardage on an equally testing track should be right up her street and I shall be very surprised if she doesn’t play a part in the finish.
Ridgeway has been running consistently well in some fair handicaps of late and has her chance here and the handicapper has given her half a chance dropping her 2lbs for a below par run at Bath last time out.
Top weight Dalanijujo has her easiest task for a while and was a shade unlucky not to get the better of Bake at Doncaster earlier in the month. However, the assessor has put her up another pound for that solid run and my each-way call GLOBAL SPIRIT has to be the Roger Fell representative.
The daughter of Invincible Spirit gave Give It Some Teddy first run last time out at Thirsk and can be marked up for that run. A handicap mark of 82 is certainly well within her compass and if she gets a fast pace to aim at, she should be bang in the firing line along with Bucepholus and Lyndon B.
The last named won well over the course and distance last time out and only has a 2lbs penalty to carry here.
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