A very interesting Class 3 handicap over a mile and a half with a pair who look open to lots more improvement moving forward
IN SUMMARY: This looked like a competitive enough handicap on the numbers this morning but the two who stood out as ones well capable of progressing beyond this mark, Frontiersman and Appeared, have now been withdrawn along with 6 others leaving this wide open. Given how important the ground change is it might pay to side with GAWDAWPALIN. Sylvester Kirk’s 3 year old boasts some good form on softer ground with a suspicion that he could well improve on that for today’s heavy going.
1 All Talk N No Do (non runner) – A three time winner in 2015, the latest just 3lbs below this mark including twice on good to firm ground. He has struggled to make the same impression this year bar a solid effort at Ascot in the same race he won last year. Not weighted out of it by any means on ground that suits but might find this trip a little on the sharp side.
2 Not Never – Lightly raced four year old and as such open to more improvement than some in here. Won on seasonal debut last season so the absence since October may not be such a big concern as the likely quick ground. Unproven on quicker than good, with both wins coming on good to soft, his sire’s influence does tend to produce horses who appreciate cut.
3 Appeared (non runner) – Went into many notebooks when winning at York in May, still green in the finish and value for more than the eventual winning margin of a length and a half. Sent off the 15/8 favourite in a similar contest just 10 days later, he failed to back up that impression but an absence since suggests that all was not right on that occasion and with the yard flying, he is likely to prove that running all wrong.
4 Sunblazer (non runner) – Ran a stormer at Ascot when last seen following up a similarly strong effort here at Newbury over a longer trip. Quick ground suits but he is just 1/15 on turf compared to 6/21 on the AW and just tends to find others tapping him for toe close home.
5 Silver Quay – Another with a moderate record on turf (just 1/18, 2/7 on the AW) and has found an increased mark on the turf for a pair of Lingfield wins beyond him this season. He’s back to only 2lbs above that AW winning mark however and showed a little more at Ascot last time and could be an each way player if the market is strong.
6 Archangel Raphael (non runner) – Looked potentially smart for Ballydoyle as a juvenile and when winning on his 2015 reappearance but has found his handicap mark in freefall since joining his current yard. If able to rediscover his sparkle, he would be well treated but it is taking too much on trust to suggest he can win this.
7 Plutocracy (non runner) – Began the 2016 turf season with a pair of very smart efforts over 12f at Ascot and Newmarket but has regressed rapidly with every start since. As a result he is well treated and Hector Crouch takes off a further 5lbs but he could only be seriously considered if there was market support.
8 Rydan (non runner) – A quirky customer who was given a grand ride by Tom Queally last time to get his head back in front at Salisbury. Given he possesses his share of temperament he is no good thing to follow that up with another going day despite the fact he is still well enough treated on the peak of his form.
9 Leah Freya – Enjoyed an excellent first season of racing in 2015 when a winner of 4 handicaps over the course of the summer, with 3 victories at Epsom and one at Lingfield. She is fairly treated on that form but she does appear to save her best for that kind of track.
10 Frontiersman (non runner) – A half brother to Derby winner Australia, his breeding by Dubawi out of Ouija Board is among the very best on offer at any level currently. Despite his regal pedigree, he looked distinctly one paced on his handicap debut, slightly hampered before plugging on, he looks like this step up in trip will suit and he may yet make a mockery of a mark of 90.
11 Plymouth Sound (non runner) – Blinkers in recent starts have coaxed him back to something like his best but that would appear to still be short of what is required to win this contest and he hasn’t got his head in front since his debut in July 2014.
12 Barizan – Formerly a very smart type when trained by Evan Williams, he is winless since May 2013. It is possible the ability remains for his new yard back from a break but at the age of 10, this looks too tough from out of the weights.
13 Gawdawpalin – A shock winner of a valuable handicap at Epsom on Derby Day but that as with his other career win both came on good to soft ground. This mark may well prove to be within reach and it’s likely to come on a slower surface which he gets today.