An interesting little Conditions Stakes for three-year-olds named after the popular sprinter Tangerine Trees, and won twice in the six runnings by trainer Kevin Ryan who looks to have a good chance of win number three this afternoon. Punters will have to take the race fitness of Dream Of Dreams (13/8) on trust this afternoon as the son of Dream Ahead looks to build on a promising juvenile season that saw him win a novice event at Haydock and finish a highly respectable second to Sir Dancealot in the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York last October. On breeding he ought to be able to get a fair bit further than this minimum trip and he wasn’t stopping at York, but he shows plenty of early speed when needed and may well be able to put this race to bed quite early if they decide to let him bowl along in front. The only down side to his chances seems to be the poor form of the Ryan yard (three wins from their last forty-three runners for a mere 7% strike rate), and it will be interesting to see if the market speaks in his favour.
Good as Dream Of Dreams is, surely he can’t beat Mark Johnston’s Sutter County (3/1) who has to give weight away all round but has an awful lot in his favour. He will be 100% race fit after already running five times in 2017, winning at Newcastle over this trip and placing second on three occasions over further. Last time out he was badly hampered at Leicester in a race best ignored for form purposes, but dropped to a trip we know he can win over, and from a stable with a 20% strike rate in the last two weeks, the best stat in this contest, and he looks more and more impossible to oppose.
Robert Eddery is making a name for himself as a very shrewd trainer who is becoming more and more astute at placing his horse, but he may have bitten off a bit too much with Equimou (3/1) who cannot match the form of some of his rivals – yet. Although her only win was at Chelmsford, she ran her best races in defeat with a two length second to Mrs Danvers and a three quarter length third to Priceless at Doncaster in a Listed race, though that form gives her a bit to find with some of these though she is open to improvement and has had the benefit of a run this season when fourth to the classy Muthmir at Bath to put her straight.
The Tony Coyle yard can’t match the winning percentage of Mark Johnston with just the two winners from their last nineteen runners for an 11% hit rate but they do show a huge profit in the same period of twenty-five points to level stakes and that suggests that Plato O Plomo (20/1) deserves a second look. His one and only win was first time out in a Haydock maiden over this trip after which he placed third twice before finishing ninth of eleven in a Thirsk handicap last time out in April. With no visible excuses he will need to do a lot better than that to get involved here and has a lot to find to get involved but the stable are doing well and he could surprise a few.
Merry Banter (33/1) sits a pound behind him on the official ratings and will find life just as difficult but completes this race preview for trainer Paul Midgley. He did win three races last season but looked more of a precocious two-year-old and may well struggle to win again this season though place prospects await if he is placed cleverly by his astute stable.