A field of nine go to post for the third race of the day at Wincanton on Thursday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: A winner on his penultimate start, BEARS RAILS clearly didn’t stay the trip when well beaten at Bangor last time out and will be much happier down to a trip such as this. He won his penultimate start comfortably and was ran well for a long way in that Bangor race, only fading at three out, which suggests his current mark shouldn’t be beyond him. He has conditions to suit and Harry Cobden retaining the ride, so does look the likely winner of this. Sartorial Elegance may be the one to chase him home if bouncing back from his latest run here last time out.
1 TOP WOOD – Far from disgraced when fifth at Plumpton in January (3m 4f, Soft), only beaten around five lengths but failed to back that up when soundly beaten at Carlisle a month later, not jumping well (3m, Good to Soft). He has been dropped 4lb by the handicapper which does give him a chance, now 4lb below his last winning mark and conditions are too suit. Tom Scudamore takes the ride for David Pipe and despite top weight, he has to be respected as if bouncing back, he’s dangerous waited to capitalise.
2 DAWSON CITY – Ran a great race when second at Plumpton in January, a few lengths ahead of Top Wood (3m 4f, Soft), but weakened very tamely on his latest start at Hereford (3m 1f, Heavy). Cheekpieces off this time which may have been the cause of his latest poor display and has been dropped a pound in the handicap so has to be considered a contender in this with Wayne Hutchinson taking the ride. Likely to be fighting for the places.
3 SARTORIAL ELEGANCE – Looking like an improving young stayer for the majority this season, winning three starts ago at Plumpton (3m 1f, Good to Soft) easily before unseating at the same venue in the Sussex National, not his fault after being unsighted. His latest run at Wincaton was very disappointing in the Somerset National, not travelling from a very early stage and well held in the end (3m 2f, Soft). He should be happier now back down in trip with the handicapper giving him a 3lb drop in the weights to help. Heavy ground will suit and he looks likely to put up another bold effort for Colin Tizzard, has to be respected.
4 ST DOMINICK – Now back onto his last winning mark and is latest run at Exeter was a much better effort than what he had been showing this season, finishing fourth after being given far too much to do (3m, Soft). If building on that effort he may well have more to give in that sphere, though he is now at the age of ten. Possible each way claims for Jackie Du Plessis but others do strike as better options today.
5 THEMANFROM MINELLA – 9lb above his last winning mark over fences and will need a career best if he’s to be involved today, with the handicapper doing him no favours at present. His latest effort at Bangor was another poor effort (3m 5f, Soft) and the handicapper has refused to budge despite it. Possible place claims on his penultimate second at Lingfield but others seem more likely.
6 BEARS RAILS – Won at Fontwell on his penultimate start (3m 1f, Soft) comfortably and looked like he was a non stayer when well beaten at Bangor a month ago (3m 5f, Soft). Likely to be much happier back down in trip, as he was in the process of running a good race at Bangor, taking the lead but weakening at three out. This suggests his current mark shouldn’t be beyond him and he has conditions to suit with Harry Cobden retaining the ride, so does look the likely winner of this
7 FLAMING CHARMER – Third Colin Tizzard runner who has Richard Johnson on board, but he seems to be on a tough mark at present, based upon his latest fourth here (2m 4f, Heavy) where he looked very one paced. He hasn’t looked a stayer when upped to trips around the three mile mark in the past which is of concern, but he has matured in recent times and can’t be totally dismissed on that basis. If staying, he looks likely to be involved with the handicapper also giving him a helping hand.
8 REGAL FLOW – Ran a better race last time out in the first time cheekpieces when fourth at Sandown (3m, Soft) three weeks ago, though those aides are left off today which seems questionable. Now 3lb below his last winning mark, with that win coming way back in October 2015 when with a different yard. Others look far more likely and he’s probably best watched.