This is an interesting handicap over 5 furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: A chance is taken on WINDFORPOWER to come home in front here at an attractive price. This is going to require a clear best effort but he’s been in excellent form of late with his last three runs yielding two seconds and a victory and he should go well again here. Bosham is interesting now back over C&D on his last winning mark whilst Lawless Louis deserves to be at the top of the betting.
1 POPPY IN THE WIND – Has done well over the winter with two victories and a host of placed efforts over 5 furlongs at Newcastle. She’s a C&D winner but she has paid for her consistency and returns to the turf off a career high mark. She was comfortably held off this mark in a similar contest to this last time out and she looks high enough in the weights now. Alan Brown has a 4% strike rate here (1 winner from 27 runners).
2 LUCKY BEGGAR – Without a win since April 2014 but he is now 27lbs lower than that mark and he finished second of sixteen in a strong handicap just 10 days ago. He’s clearly been regressive but this mark is workable and he’s likely to be popular in the betting here on the hope that he can go one better and build on his previous run. He is relatively inconsistent though and you wouldn’t want to take a short price about him here.
3 TARBOOSH – Lightly-raced sort who has struggled in handicaps since winning his maiden last May. He hasn’t been able to get competitive in three starts for this yard and he’s left on a mark of 75 which he was well-beaten off just over a week ago. Connections apply a first time tongue tie here in a big to bring out some improvement in him and connections may feel there’s more to come now back on turf. Others make more appeal.
4 LYDIA’S PLACE – Richard Guest does well here (19%) strike rate and his runner has gone close off this mark on three occasions. The most recent of those came at Musselburgh 12 days ago where she led for much of the way before running out of steam in the final furlong. She remains on the same mark and she’ll attempt to make all again and she receives a useful 5lb claim from Clifford Lee. Should serve it up to them here.
5 BOSHAM – Returns to turf today off the same mark he won a C&D handicap off last August. He’s been running to a reasonable level over the winter on the All-Weather off a 15lb higher mark and he arrives here fit and ready which is a big advantage against many of his rivals. The stable have been in flying form of late (31% strike rate) and he’s worthy of plenty respect back on a winning mark in conditions he clearly enjoys.
6 TICKS THE BOXES – First run for John Wainwright today off a mark of 73. He won a small field claimer at Newcastle last month and he will need to improve upon that form to win this competitive Class 5 handicap. The yard have had 43 runners at Beverley without a single winner which is incredibly off-putting and he’s best watched on stable debut although he is race fit.
7 COMPTON PARK – Ran a nice race at Thirsk on Saturday, finishing third of eleven beaten 2 3/4 lengths by a progressive sort. He’s worth plenty of respect on the back of that run although he is without a win since August 2014. This mark looks about right for him but aged 10, he’s vulnerable to any sort of improving type in this. His trainer has sent out two winners from his last 12 runners and he’s worth a market check.
8 THATCHERITE – Has been off the track for 572-days and was last seen winning a Class 5 handicap at Redcar off 3lbs lower. He’s a useful sort on his day and is deserving of this mark but with such a lengthy absence to overcome, it’s very difficult to know what sort of shape he will turn up in today. The market should guide best here and any market support would be significant. The percentage call is to oppose him today though.
9 SPIRIT OF WEDZA – Has been in good form on the All-Weather lately with a victory and two placed efforts in his last four starts. The step down in trip raises a slight question mark having produced his best performances at 6 furlongs although he should get a good pace to aim at here. He’s on a workable mark and although stall 11 is far from ideal, he has form claims here receiving a bit of weight from some of his rivals.
10 LAWLESS LOUIS – Ran a great race over 6 furlongs at Redcar last October to finish 3 1/4 lengths behind the smart Wick Powell. He’s only a 3yo so he receives a significant weight-for-age allowance which should see him get competitive here. He is yet to win outside of novice company which is a slight negative but he’s on what looks to be a workable mark having fallen 8lbs in the weights since his handicap debut and this is his easiest task in handicap company to date. The yard have a 20% strike rate here.
11 PERFECT SYMPHONY – Second 3yo runner in this and he won a maiden at the end of last year in first time cheekpieces. He has something to find on form with a few of these but he’s likely to have improved from 2 to 3 and like Lawless Louis, receives plenty of weight from his rivals on today’s terms. Probably needs to improve to win this but he has every possibility of doing so although stall 13 doesn’t help his cause.
12 SPACE ARTIST – Reached an official rating of 81 at his peak but he’s been regressive since and he has only managed one victory since 2014. That came in selling company and he’s been well-beaten off just 2lbs higher in similar handicaps to this so he has it all to do on form. Andrew Mullen rides him for the first time and the stable have a poor record here of just 4 winners from 105 runners (4% strike rate).
13 WINDFORPOWER – Two wins this winter which both came in a weaker grade than this at Newcastle. He’s race fit and finished a neck second at Catterick 15 days ago having just failed to reach the winner of the longer 6 furlong trip. He’ll be suited by a drop back down to 5 furlongs today but this is much tougher than any of his winter assignments and he’ll have to produce a near career best here. He’s a fair price in the market and he’s worth taking a chance on with Ben Curtis booked to ride.