IN SUMMARY: This step up in trip on handicap debut should prove the oracle for CLOUD EIGHT, who was improving nicely through his maiden/novice races for Marco Botti. He was doing his best work late on when fourth at Chelmsford last month and an extra furlong in distance should spur on further improvement. He’s touted to land his first handicap at the expense of Cristal Pallas Cat, who should make this a test from the front.
Cristal Pallas Cat | J: Fran Berry T: Roger Ingram
Front-runner who wasn't beaten far two starts ago over course and distance in a higher grade. He can be forgiven his latest start and he now drops to Class 5 company for the first time since his only previous victory. He's still lightly raced and is one to take seriously for in form connections.
Cloud Eight | J: Marc Monaghan T: Marco Botti
Slow improvement through maidens, posting a career best when fourth at Chelmsford last month. He now steps up in trip for his handicap debut, bred to find improvement for this extra furlong. His connections are in good form and he's touted to get off the mark.
Fiery Breath | J: Martin Harley T: Robert Eddery
Left some modest maiden runs behind when scoring over course and distance last month by a nose. He's now four pounds higher in a tougher race though and further is needed if he's to be following up. Should find at least one too strong for win purposes.
Renny's Lady | J: Edward Greatrex T: David Evans
Made a promising debut over course and distance but went backwards in two runs since. She now makes her handicap debut with plenty to prove against some rivals who bring better form to the equation. Others preferred on this occasion.
Ventura Gold | J: Paul Hanagan T: Richard Fahey
Seems best suited by seven furlongs, posting a career best when a very close fifth at Newcastle last time. That was after a break and he dwelt in the stalls, so better can be expected now off two pounds lower. He does need to prove himself at this venue, but he holds leading claims nevertheless.
Marshal Dan | J: Luke Morris T: Heather Main
Steady improvement through maidens, second over course and distance last time. The field was strung out though and he was advantaged by chasing the clear winner all the way. There could be more to come from him on handicap debut, but others have less to prove on balance.
Golden Footsteps | J: Oisin Murphy T: Ed Walker
Showed some promise on her first two runs but the two that followed were disappointing. She was beaten out of sight on her handicap debut when last seen on the turf and she may need this run after 160 day absence. Can only be watched.
Pact Of Steel | J: Hector Crouch T: Harry Dunlop
Has gone backwards since transferring to this course and distance, well beaten at massive odds. He may do better now going into handicaps but that has to be taken completely on trust. With others bringing better form to the contest, he can only be watched.
Bad Dog | J: Sean Levey T: Michael Easterby
Given a soft lead in a small field at Newcastle last Friday and made them all pay over the mile. He's unpenalised as that was an apprentice event but he won't be getting a soft lead here. His previous polytrack form gives him something to find and others are preferred.