IN SUMMARY: PLANTAGENET was unlucky to run into a similarly progressive type further down the weights at Plumpton last time when in search of a five timer. That winner has gone in again since so he looks well capable of defying this mark. If Dawnieriver can adapt to going in this direction she looks the biggest danger, with both Bronco Billy and High Counsel having their ideal conditions so there are few excuses if they don’t make their presence felt.
1 BRONCO BILLY – All his best form had come going this way round before a win at Warwick in May. That 3 runner race fell apart around him so isn’t the strongest of form lines. Quick ground is ideal and he stays this trip well but this looks a little tougher in a competitive race.
2 ROLL THE DOUGH – 2/2 over hurdles, he has struggled in this discipline in handicaps. Both wins were over two and a half though he has won a point to point at this trip on good ground. More than a stone below his opening gambit, he needs a turnaround to win this.
3 DAWNIERIVER – Three miles on decent ground are her ideal conditions, she has dropped back to her last winning mark. The best of her form is going left handed however, running more than a stone superior in the opposite direction to this which is a concern.
4 LAC SACRE – Had to sink more than a stone in the weights before finally geting his head back in front at Chepstow in March. As with all his best form, that came on a much softer surface than he is going to encounter here, so he is easily opposed.
5 SHINOOKI – Saves the majority of his best runs for Fakenham on softer ground. Is well enough treated, three pounds below his highest winning mark if he is on a going day. The lack of juice in the ground at a different track is more than enough to take him on though.
6 TEA TIME FRED – Yet to complete in four chases, nor in two points so tough to be confident about him over the bigger obstacles. He stays this trip well and has won on quick ground so those are small positives, but even from his last winning mark, he’s tough to support.
7 PLANTAGENET – Ran up a sequence over hurdles since moving to Seamus Mullins. Produced a solid display on his chasing debut last time at Plumpton, chasing home a subsequent winner, with the third finishing second since. Still unexposed, he looks well capable of winning once more sooner rather than later, big player.
8 HIGH COUNSEL – Consistent type at his level, these are his ideal conditions. Runner-up last time, he will need to up his game in this deeper contest if he is to make his presence felt from the same mark, but has an outside squeak at a place.
9 RADUIS BLEU – Veteran is twenty-two pound out the handicap, it would be one of the biggest surprises all time in the sport if he were to win.