A field of 16 go to post for the first race of the day at York on Friday, live on ITV. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Londinium ran two brilliant races at Glorious Goodwood three weeks ago and looks a big danger under P J McDonald. That said, AMAZING RED is a confident selection given that he has clearly improved for the gelding operation. His first start since resulted in a comfortable victory at Newmarket and a four pound rise looks extremely lenient given that he remains unexposed after only six starts. A big run beckons and he should take all the beating here under Paul Mulrennan.
1 APPEARED – Won three starts ago at Ascot before backing that up with a game second in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot, with the handicapper raising him three pounds as a result. He looked held on his latest start at Ascot before being badly hampered and he may just be in the handicapper’s grip now off a mark of 104. He’s an each way player, but at least one of these will be too well handicapped.
2 RED GALILEO – Shaped as though he needed the run when eighth in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot and he proved that correct when putting in a much improved performance to finish second at the same venue a month later. He was short of room at a crucial stage, but once switched he came flying home, with the handicapper only raising him a pound. He goes on any ground and has to be considered.
3 ERIK THE RED – Stays this far but he’s been running well at the 1m 2f distance of late, last seen at Doncaster with a comfortable victory in a Class 2 handicap. He’s been raised six pounds as a result which is a concern as a mark of 100 is a career high and this race is tougher than his last. Hard to rule him out as he arrives in form, but he’s vulnerable for win purposes off this mark.
4 FIDAAWY – Won three starts ago at Doncaster at the 1m 2f distance, shaping as though he needed further and, although he posted a lesser effort at Epsom, there was promise on his first run at 1m 4f on his latest start. He was making progress and disputing second when bumped and squeezed out, losing all chance and eased. He remains on the same mark and, despite this being a tougher race, he has to be considered as he’s unexposed at these distances.
5 MASTER OF FINANCE – Finished second in a 1m 2f Newmarket handicap back in May 2016 off a one pound higher mark and he’s been running well over hurdles this season. He is well weighted on the best of his efforts and he’ll stay this far, however others do look far more interesting and he should fall short here.
6 MUKHAYYAM – The return to front-running tactics has worked wonders of late, winning two of his last three runs for Tim Easterby. He was raised six pounds for his latest victory and was only able to finish fifth, not beaten far. This is much tougher and he looks in the handicapper’s grip now, so he is likely best watched.
7 MANJAAM – Finished a close second on the All Weather on his return this season, yet he’s been less than impressive in three runs since. He could only manage eighth on his latest start in a weaker race than this and, although the handicapper has relented three pounds, others make far more appeal as he’s far from guaranteed to bounce back.
8 SPEEDO BOY – Three-year-old for Ian Williams who hasn’t been disgraced of late, finishing midfield at both Ascot and Newmarket the last twice. Those were both at the 1m 2f trip and he shaped as though 1m 4f would suit, staying on well on both occasions. He remains with potential and has each way claims if restarting his upward curve.
9 GAME STARTER – Has only run three times for Saeed bin Suroor, improving markedly with every run for top connections. He showed promise on debut before a comfortable maiden victory on his second start, with the form working out nicely. He made his handicap debut at Newmarket three weeks ago, making all in devastating fashion and he’s been raised ten pounds as a result. He just gallops and gallops, so a step up to 1m 4f should suit and he looks a strong contender.
10 AL NEKSH – Has stamina on the dam side, but he’s unproven beyond 1m 2f, finishing second on his penultimate start here over that distance. He is on the same mark as his latest start, however he does need to bounce back from a broken blood vessel. He remains lightly raced and better could be on the way, but he can only be watched today with others far more solid.
11 MOONMESITER – Six-year-old who is really highly tried, with 37 runs already under his belt. He won three starts ago at Cork with a canny ride, but he’s been soundly beaten the last twice. He didn’t seem to have any excuses when only ninth at Galway on his latest start and off a mark of 90 he’s likely to be vulnerable.
12 AMAZING RED – Ed Dunlop inmate who had been in and out of form this season, but the gelding operation before his latest start clearly worked wonders. He won a handicap at Newmarket on his latest start and looked value for plenty more, with a four pound rise seeming to severely underestimate him. He remains with potential and, with no ground conditions a problem, he looks set for a big run.
13 LANDSMAN – Dual-purpose horse for Tony Martin who produced his best effort for a while when just getting up at Fairyhouse on his latest start, rallying well to lead close home. He’s now six pounds higher here, however, and he looks vulnerable against some well handicapped horses, although Martin wouldn’t be bringing him over for no reason. Others make more appeal, but market support should be noted.
14 DANCE KING – Running well in the main this season, winning a handicap at Carlisle on his penultimate start after a sustained challenge inside the final furlong. He didn’t, however, back that up when only eighth at Haydock two weeks ago and this is a much tougher race. Others make more appeal on this occasion.
15 LONDINIUM – Progressive sort for the in form Mark Johnston team who won at Glorious Goodwood earlier this month and nearly doubled up two days later when second. He’s up four pounds again, but he is clearly improving and he goes on any ground. P J McDonald is also riding well at present and he is a strong each way contender.
16 SONG OF LOVE – Won back in February off today’s mark on the All Weather in Ireland for Joesph O’Brien, but he’s not gone close to adding to his tally since. He’s been well beaten on all four of his starts for Shaun Harris and it’s hard to recommend him on any basis due to how poor he’s currently running. Richard Oliver takes off five pounds, but he looks set for a struggle here.