This 0-75 Handicap over 1m4f is likely to be a muddling affair with a distinct lack of any real pace in the race. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: High Command will be rightly popular after his ready success here 12 days ago but he is up 6lb for that and it might be worth chancing the horse that finished behind him that day SAFIRA MENINA. He was suited by the way the race was run that day, staying on well late on after coming off the pace and if employing similar tactics here can get the better of his conqueror given the pull in weights. Tatting and Pastoral Music can fill the runner-up spots.
1 Tatting – 4-time course winner when trained for Conor Dore including back-to-back wins in March, winning both comfortably. Has now joined Lawrence Mullaney and on his first start for the yard after 6 months off, can make his presence felt in a race that could be run to suit.
2 Freewheel – Only 2 career wins to his name, the last coming in Class 5 company at Pontefract in April when getting up to score by a shoulder. Has an unenviable strike rate and only 13th of 20th in a Doncaster Handicap 31 days ago and difficult to see getting involved here.
3 Safira Menina – Got up to score by a 1 ½ lengths at Kempton in an Amateur Jockey’s Handicap at the start of the month. Another promising effort here over 1m4f 11 days ago saw him finish 2nd behind the re-opposing High Command. Was suited by the strong gallop that day, coming off the pace late on after being held up and if similar tactics are employed here he can be involved again today.
4 Bazooka – Hasn’t won since April when scoring over 1m2f in a Windsor Handicap on Heavy ground. Has had plenty of runs since without matching that and finished only 15th of 16th in the St Simon Stakes at Newbury a month ago. Makes his Fibresand debut today and will find it difficult against many of these.
5 Brigadoon – Last run came in a Selling Hurdle at Market Rasen in August and finished a disappointing 4th of 8. Won at Catterick over strongly run 1m3f and when winning nicely and market will guide as to his chances given his top trainer also runs Weald Of Kent.
6 Kafeel – Hasn’t really shown much for his current yard finishing only 8th of 9 at Chelmsford 17 days ago. Makes his Fibresand debut and easy to look elsewhere for the winner.
7 Goldslinger – Won 4 out of 5 races in the Summer and start of the Autumn last year. Has struggled since including when 11th of 12 at Haydock when last seen in July. Been off since and even though he is back on his last winning mark will no doubt struggle in this line-up.
8 Firestorm – Makes his Fibresand debut today and has shown fair form on the flat. Last run came over hurdles 16 days ago at Sandown but he never featured that day and was pulled up when odds of 40/1. Has been dropped in grade but judged on last flat run will find it hard again to land a blow.
9 Weald Of Kent – Has won over C&D no fewer than 3 occasions including landing back-to-back victories here in February winning by 7 lengths in a 1m4f Handicap and then just getting by ¾ of a length next time out. Only 13th of 15 in Handicap at Newcastle 15 days ago when he began slowly and has a visor back on today but difficult to make a case judged on last run for top trainer at this track. Market will guide as to chances of the pair.
10 High Command – Won over C&D here 12 days ago beating Safira Menina comfortably by 2 ½ lengths. Looks to have a progressive profile and a big player judged on that performance but gone up 6lb for that and will need another career-best to win again.
11 Pastoral Music – 4th of 11 in a Handicap at Nottingham 27 days ago but won on the AW in a Maiden at Kempton the race before, winning impressively by 2 ½ lengths. Makes his Fibresand debut today and dangerous to ignore for a yard that have plenty of winners here.
12 Ride The Lightning – Second behind the re-opposing Safira Menina at Kempton in an Amateur event at the start of the month but well beaten that day given he went off the 11/8 favourite. Makes his Fibresand debut but not sure to turn the tables with his conqueror that day and probably best to look elsewhere on this occasion.
13 Deep Resolve – Dual-performer who finished 4th behind High Command here 12 days ago. Has won here twice before including a short-head success back in April over 1m3f. Can be expected to give his running again but has his work cut out for him against the majority of the field.
14 Captain Swift – Only 1 win from 21 flat runs coming in a 9 runner event at Haydock last September. Was an ok 3rd of 12 in the Handicap won by High Command here 12 days ago. Held up that day but this looks to be a stronger race and sure to struggle again.