This is a one mile six furlongs contest, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Tricky handicap given a few of these return off seasonal breaks and having raced in different codes. REGAL GAIT gets the verdict here for Harry Whittington having shown some progressive form earlier this year and he’s well-treated under today’s conditions. Cape Spirit should be thereabouts again but remains a long-standing maiden whilst Lady Emma requires a market check.
1 NOGUCHI – 12yo making his 74th career start today at the grand age of 12. He’s not won since July 2015 and has slipped through the weights recently to today’s mark of 64. That will make life easier but his overall form of late hasn’t been great and he’s not well-treated against some of his younger rivals in this. Silvestre De Sousa does take the ride (24% strike rate last fortnight) and others make more appeal.
2 REGAL GAIT – Lightly-raced gelding who has won and placed twice for this stable, including over hurdles. He steps back onto the flat here off a 5lb higher mark but this isn’t a harder race and he’s in with a chance today. Harry Bentley has ridden one winner from his last two rides in the past fortnight and he has course form with his sole win coming over an extended 1m 5f. Interesting here.
3 CAPE SPIRIT – 24-race maiden who travels beautifully into her races but is often found wanting in the closing stages. She’s on the same mark as when she was beaten just a a short head over a mile and six furlongs and she’s definitely well-treated. However, you have to back this mare in the knowledge she’s failed to win once in 24 runs. 7lb claimer will help and the yard have a 15% strike rate here.
4 LADY EMMA – Handicap debut today off a mark of 55. She’s been beaten a long way in three starts to date which all came on the turf, including one race as a 2yo. She’s been off the track for 305-days and she’s probably been given time to develop and come into herself. Cheekpieces are applied for the first time and she’s worth a market check in this for Steph Hollinshead.
5 SHRUBLAND – Has been campaigned over hurdles this season with limited success to his name. He was last seen at Sandown where he finished pulled up and he’s tricky to make a case for given he’s not looked overly progressive over obstacles. The step back in trip is a negative and he’s on the same mark as when last beaten 3 1/2 lengths in October last year.
6 THE JUGGLER – 11-race maiden who showed some progression towards the end of last year. He finished third at Yarmouth in October of last year and followed that up with a good second at Kempton over further off a mark of 53 last November. He makes his seasonal reappearance here off the same mark and he’s in with a chance if he can continue that progression. Chances now stpped up in trip.
7 TED’S BROTHER – Makes his 95th appearance today and he’s without a win since August last year. He’s run three times for Laura Morgan this year and he’s run with credit although he’s failed to threaten the leaders. Steps up in trip today which doesn’t look to suit based on breeding and what he has achieved to date and he’s up against it here at the weights.
8 BLUE VALENTINO – Sixth career start today and it’s his first run for Lisa Williamson. He’s been off the track for over 2 years and was last seen finishing second over 1m 6f back in December 2014 off a 2lb higher mark. He’s clearly had issues and whilst probably on a fair mark, it’s impossible to tell what form he’ll return to action in. Best watched here, market support would be significant for a yard that have sent out one winner from 5 runners in the past fortnight.