This is a tricky handicap over seven furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: There was a lot to like about BAHAMIAN BIRD’S victory at Catterick last time out and there may be more to come here. She has only been raised 4lbs for that success and she remains in Class 5 company which leaves her well-treated with a useful claimer aboard again. Dark Forest should give her something to think about having shown consistent form on the fibresand all winter and he’ll be dangerous here if he can translate that form onto the turf.
1 TRIPARTITE – Has scored twice in handicap company off marks of 66 and 71. One of those victories came over C&D which is a major positive and he’s fallen 2lbs following his last run which puts him back on his last winning mark. This is slightly easier than his last race at Leicester and although he has to give away plenty of weight, he’s well capable of striking on today’s terms. The yard have only sent out one winner from 24 runners here which is slightly off putting.
2 BAHAMIAN BIRD – Arrives here on the back of a win at Catterick off a 4lb lower mark. She looked to have improved following her winter break and there may be even more to come on a mark of 71 given she’s kept in the same grade with similar opposition. She’s versatile ground wise so today’s conditions should suit and her stable has an 18% strike rate in the past fortnight. Respected today.
3 LUANG PRABANG – Has shown improved form for the return to 7 furlongs in her two latest starts which included a victory and placed effort. She’s been raised to a mark of 69 which still looks workable although she will have to improve again to get the better of these in a tougher grade than when scoring in a Class 6 handicap. Chris Wall has sent out 2 winners from his last 7 runners and she deserves respect here.
4 DARK FOREST – Has done relatively well over the winter with two victories and three placed efforts at Southwell. He is left on a mark of 68 following his latest third placed effort but that could arguably leave him well-handicapped still on old form. He will have to prove he is as good on turf as he is on the sand with a career record of no wins from 10 starts on the turf and that makes him a less attractive proposition today.
5 ALTHOLLBLAIR BOY – Yet to win in handicap company and he has only recorded one victory in 17 career starts. That came in maiden company over 6 furlongs back in 2015 and the handicapper has finally relented and given him a 2lb drop in the weights having been heavily beaten in a similar handicap just 16 days ago. He’s difficult to make a case for having had so many chances off this mark although Lewis Edmunds’ 5lb claim will help.
6 ART ECHO – Picked up for a cheap 7,000GNS by John Mackie over the winter and he makes his stable debut today. He’s another that’s yet to score in handicap company with his sole victory in a weak maiden at Brighton in 2015. He’s been tried over various trips from 6 furlongs to a mile and he has placed off 2lbs higher than this so he’s not completely without a chance. Ben Curtis is a positive booking (3 wins from his last 32 rides) and he’s worth close attention in the betting for his new stable.
7 WILLSY – 6lbs lower than his last winning mark which came over an extended 5 furlongs at Bath last season. His best form has come on Soft ground which raises a significant doubt about his liking for today’s Good to Firm conditions. He’s been comfortably held in three handicaps for Karen Tutty and he’s tricky to make a case for based on recent form combined with today’s potentially unsuitable ground.
8 GULLAND ROCK – Has recorded a victory and a third placed finish in two starts since the turn of the year at Kempton over today’s trip. He races off a 5lb lower mark on the turf and he’s worth a go in these conditions although he’s without a win on turf since April 2014. This looks like the right mark for him albeit with not much room to manoeuvre and others have more appealing profiles in this.
9 MANGO CHUTNEY – 2lb higher than his last success which came in a Class 6 handicap over 7 furlongs. He has placed in similar company to this previously but those efforts have come off a lower mark and he’ll need a near-career best effort to win off this mark today. He is still open to improvement but his yard are without a winner from their last 9 runners here and others make slightly more appeal today.
10 Q CEE – Lightly-raced 4yo making just his sixth start today. He wasn’t beaten far at Wolverhampton in a maiden last December and he should have more to come now sent handicapping off a mark of 63. Lulu Stanford claims 5lbs which will certainly aid his cause and he could be sat on a nice enough mark here. The market should guide best for a stable that have been extremely quiet of late. Chances.
11 NIQNAAQPAADIWAAQ – Has slipped down the weights in recent starts and he’s without a win since August 2015. He’s been dropped 2lbs following a 4 1/4 length defeat at Wolverhampton in December and much more is needed to score here. He will appreciate the return to turf but he’s produced his best form in a weaker grade and he doesn’t look to be particularly well-treated on today’s terms.
12 COOKIE RING – 1lb out of the handicap today and he looks up against it here now stepped back up in grade to Class 5 company. He is a winner over 7 furlongs but the last of his victories came off 3lbs lower and an absence of 354-days raises serious question marks. He can only be watched here on the back of that for a stable without a winner from 14 runners here. Avoided today.