A field of twelve go to post for this Pro-Am Lady Riders’ Race over the 1m 4f trip, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Despite idling late on ZUBAYR trounced a field at Kempton in May and only found one progressive rival too good on his latest start at the same venue. He remains on the same mark with the in form and ever improving Megan Nicholls taking the ride, so he looks very tough to beat if continuing this upward curve back on turf. The rest of the field all have something to prove and William Hunter looks the best bet for the forecast, finishing third at Leicester when last seen and a repeat will see him go close.
1 AZARI – Usually consistent five year old for Tom Dascombe, so it was all the more worrying when he put in a very poor effort when sixth at York when last seen. He was never in the race on that occasion and he needs to bounce back, with the headgear being enlisted. Jenny Powell takes the ride which should ensure him to run well at this level, but others look more persuasive on this occasion.
2 INTENSE TANGO – Hasn’t won since September at Haydock off a four pound higher mark, but she’s been well beaten on most of her starts since for Karl Burke. She was last seen two months ago when virtually pulled up at Newmarket and she’s only two pounds lower here. Lucy Barry takes the ride which is positive but she’s almost impossible to recommend on her current form and is dismissed on this occasion.
3 GABRIAL’S KING – Managed to break a lengthy losing run when winning at Thirsk in April, but he’s struggled in the main since for Richard Fahey, finishing midfield on his best attempts. He was never threatening when once placed at York when last seen and he’s only one pound lower here. Conditions aren’t certain to bring out the best in him under Sammy Jo Bell and others are readily preferred this time around.
4 DANCE KING – Running well for most of this season and deservedly got back into the winner’s enclosure when last seen at Carlisle, holding on gamely late on in similar conditions to today. As a result he’s only been raised three pound in the handicap which doesn’t look particularly harsh and he has definite possibilities of following up with the experienced and talented Rachel Richardson taking the ride. Has to respected as one of the main contenders and should make his presence firmly felt.
5 JACBEQUICK – Last win came three starts ago under today’s rider Shelley Birkett at York in a Lady Riders’ Handicap, narrowly pipping Azari on that occasion. He was last seen at Ripon where he was a keeping on second over the 1m 2f trip, not allowed room at a crucial stage. He’ll be much happier back up in trip and despite the David O’Meara team being in such poor form at present, he’s one to consider for the placings in the softer ground.
6 WILLIAM HUNTER – Won a competitive race at Ascot back in September and he’s been mainly consistent since, finishing midfield in six subsequent runs. He was only beaten around two lengths when third at Leicester in softer ground and more crucially, he has top amateur Serena Brotherton taking the ride. He’s now only two pounds above his last winning mark and has to be considered a big threat.
7 ZUBAYR – 142 rated hurdler who has taken very well to the flat the last twice for Paul Nicholls, routing a field at Kempton in May despite idling late before finding a well handicapped one too strong at the same venue when last seen. He remains on the same mark, with the in-form and improving Megan Nicholls taking the ride. The softer ground is of little concern as he’s won on this ground in the past over hurdles and he looks a tough nut to crack.
8 TAPIS LIBRE – Course and distance winner who does very well under this rider, with Joanna Mason taking eight wins on him from seventeen starts. He arrives on a hat-trick incidentally for Jacqueline Coward, only going up one pound for a narrow victory at Epsom where Mason had her whip knocked out of her hands, forced to ride the final furlong with hands and heels only. This nine year old is clearly still in love with the game and with him being in such good heart, he has to be considered a big danger.
9 SWAHEEN – Inconsistent sort for Julie Camacho who won three starts ago at Carlisle on softer ground before two mediocre efforts since. He was behind William Hunter when a staying on fifth at Leicester when last seen, with connections reaching for the cheekpieces. This time he gets the services of a good three pound claimer, but more is needed in this company and he can only be touted for each way purposes off this mark.
10 CAPONOVA – Enhanced his record at Haydock four starts ago when making it four wins from five starts in a much easier race than this, well beaten in three runs since for Tom Dascombe. He is now upped two furlongs in trip which doesn’t do much to tempt, as he comes up against some tough rivals who stay further, so with his stamina in doubt under Anna Hesketh, others are readily preferred.
11 LORD FRANKLIN – Has been mainly out of form this year for Eric Alston, but his best effort did come on his first and only attempt of the 1m 4f trip at Chester. He ran on strongly and is now six pounds lower after two poor subsequent efforts since, but those were at the 1m 2f trip. Gemma Tutty takes the ride and she’s an experienced commodity at this level, so he couldn’t be ruled out with any great confidence.
12 SHAMROKH – Lightly raced three year old who has only had one attempt of the 1m 4f distance, which came at Ascot on his latest start in softer ground. In the end, it did little to convince about his stamina, only plugging on past beaten horses to finish sixth, never really put into the race on that occasion. He was beaten a long way and that was a continuation of a poor run of form. Becky Smith takes the ride this time but he’s likely to miss out here.