One of a pair of quality handicap chases at Ascot on Friday. 2m5f the trip with 7 runners chasing a first prize in excess of £16,000!
IN SUMMARY: A race that looks likely to be run at a fair clip with Present Man, Go Conquer and The Clock Leary all confirmed front runners. Rothman has also gone from the front so the race looks perfectly set up for FOX APPEAL to get a tow round behind the pace before picking them off late. He has shown his best form going right handed with a drop in grade and a handicap mark that is bordering on ‘thrown in’ these days, he can strike for the in form Emma Lavelle yard.
1 Fox Appeal – All 6 career wins have come right handed, including at Ascot. He was below par for the majority of last season but a lot from the yard struggled and they are generally in far better heart this season. This represents a drop in class for him while he has not had a handicap mark this low since winning over hurdles at Kempton in November 2012. Very much the one to beat if able to produce anything close to his best form.
2 Wings Attract – Steadily progressive last season, winning three times, including handicap chases at Doncaster and Fakenham. This is going to demand more with any further rain not playing to his strengths. Has joined a new yard and is minus the blinkers he wore when winning but won first time out last season so any market support would be interesting.
3 Present Man – Eight of his eleven runs under rules have come at Wincanton, with a right handed track important to him. He has improved since being given his head and allowed to lead but may not get things all his own way with Go Conquer and the free going The Clock Leary in the line up. The Paul Nicholls yard have made an excellent start to the season however and he is entitled to go close.
4 Go Conquer – A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character, he was on his best behaviour when skating up at Wincanton when last in action in April. This mark is likely to be within his grasp this season with further progress likely but most from the yard are still struggling to find form.
5 Cadoudoff – Has failed to complete the last twice, his confidence over fences must be a question mark. He is still 5lbs higher than his latest winning mark and with plenty of pace on up front, his fragile jumping looks like being severely tested. The recent rain would be in his favour, the more the better for this deep ground type.
6 Rothman – A smart second off this mark last time behind Fergal Mael Duin who was runner up in the Southern National the next time is a smart piece of form. The 3rd won at Towcester last week to give the form another boost and Chris Gordon’s horse is now 3lbs below his most recent winning mark. His best form has come at Fontwell but if he can reproduce on a different track, he has a chance.
7 The Clock Leary – Two years since he last won a race, over 19f here at Ascot. Has regularly been too keen since and with other front runners to take him on he is best left alone for all that he is well handicapped these days.