IN SUMMARY: STAR STORY disappointed when an even money favourite last time but that was a muddling small field affair and she can make amends in this bigger field which should allow her to settle. Throckley won well on his stable debut and can go well again as can Island Brave, another last time out winner.
1 THROCKLEY – Didn’t look to be in the greatest nick before winning on stable debut for Conor Dore. He kept on strongly that day having been ridden confidently and a six pound rise seems fair, he may have more progress in him for this stable and is one to consider.
2 MAIFALKI – Has won twice at this course but that was back in December of last year and he has struggled off higher marks since going in off 75. He has slipped back down a few pounds but and is a better horse on the all weather but he made an underwhelming debut for Jason Ward last time and needs to bounce back.
3 TAKE TWO – Has yet to win on the all weather but has done well this year and ran a lovely race to be denied just a head at Kempton last time. Seems to be in great nick still and should run another big race off just two pounds higher than he raced off last time.
4 TANGRAMM – A course and distance winner who brings a patchy recent profile to the race having followed a good performance three starts ago with two dire ones. He is certainly capable of running well off this mark but is a risky betting proposition given the nature of his recent performances.
5 THISTIMENEXTYEAR – Was beaten in a couple of decent maidens before winning at the third time of asking. Didn’t seem to run his race last time when a bit unsettled in the stalls and is not one to right off just yet considering he is unexposed and has been freshened up.
6 SPINNING MELODY – Ran admirably well when winning in extremely game fashion on her racecourse debut at Chelmsford in October. She made all that day to win by a neck and a mark of 80 may underestimate her, she has plenty to recommend about her on her second start and is one for the shortlist.
7 AZAM – Won at Kempton in taking fashion back in November last year and was earlier just five lengths behind the talented Eminent in a maiden but his form has tailed off since then. He has tumbled down the weights and may be nearing a workable mark but he is best watched for now.
8 LUNGARNO PALACE – A talented horse who has the potential to win off a mark of 75 but returns off a long break today. Was beaten just a length and a half behind Arty Campbell last time and is two pounds lower but has to prove his fitness here and comes with risks attached.
9 VILLETTE – Dead heated at Leicester in October when sent off 50/1 but struggled off a five pound higher mark at Lingfield last time out. That wasn’t an awful run but there is the possibility she is slightly too high the weights for the moment.
10 ISLAND BRAVE – Ran a decent race when beaten just under fourth lengths into ninth at Windsor in October and built on that last time when staying on powerfully to win. He has been put up four pounds for that effort but seemed to win with something in hand and could have another win in him, not discounted.
11 STAR STORY – Raced keenly in a small field event last time and the conditions of that race didn’t look to suit at all. She was only beaten a length there and was a warm favourite so it is clearly expected that she can go well off a mark of 74 with a stronger pace likely to suit.
12 OMOTESANDO – Won in good style last time when toughing it out nicely and has only been raised three pounds for that performance. Has won just six of his forty-one starts however so might be unlikely that he follows up, one to consider as an each way bet however.