A field of eleven go to post for this stamina test at Bath on Wednesday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Keeping on strongly to finish second at Thirsk on his latest start, the competitively weighted INGLEBY MACKENZIE will appreciate this step up in trip and can take a second career victory. He is only two pounds higher than for his latest win and, with conditions to suit, he can continue to improve and take this at the expense of Henry Candy’s Murchison River. He makes his handicap debut after some promise in maidens, so will need a market check under Dane O’Neill.
1 SHEILA’S FANCY – Showed some promise in maidens for J S Moore, but he was incredibly one paced when only sixth at Newbury on his handicap debut. He stayed on without ever being a threat and, although an extra furlong should help, it does little to tempt off the same mark. A drop in class will also be well received, but others make greater appeal and he’s likely to place at the very best.
2 DUKINTA – Daughter of Dubawi for Hugo Palmer who had one respectable effort in three maidens, finishing an ultimately well beaten sixth at Doncaster back in June. He was well beaten at Lingfield when upped in trip on his final maiden and is competitive off a mark of 65 on handicap debut. Connections reach for the visor and he can’t be recommended with Fran Berry taking the ride.
3 MURCHISON RIVER – Has shown promise on two of his three maiden runs for Henry Candy, last seen at Windsor where he finished eighth, running well for a long way. He is now gelded for his handicap debut, with a mark of 65 not harsh on him now that he’s upped in trip. His pedigree does give some hope that he can stay this distance, but it has to be taken in confidence at this stage. Possible each way claims under Dane O’Neill but an unlikely winner.
4 INGLEBY MACKENZIE – Consistent middle-distance handicapper for Mick Channon who has form figures of 3212 since being upped to the 1m 4f trip. He was last seen at Thirsk where he kept on strongly to finish in second place, firmly suggesting a step up in trip could tap into further potential. He is clearly still competitively weighted and, with the yard in brilliant form, he looks set to take all the beating under Sam Hitchcott.
5 HIGH WELLS – Son of High Chaparral who wasn’t disgraced on his penultimate start when second over the 1m 2f trip here in July, however he failed to back that up two weeks later. He should be a place contender on that basis, but he’s yet to race on anything slower than Good and the ground is likely to be at least good to soft. Fergus Sweeney takes the ride and, with his stamina not assured, it’s not hard to look elsewhere.
6 DELANNOY – Has shown some signs that he could be up to winning a low grade contest, last seen over the 1m 2f trip here where he was looking one paced when the pace got turned up. That and his pedigree does give hope that he should stay this trip out strongly. The Eve Johnson-Houghton yard remain in good form and Charlie Bishop takes over the ride, so he has place possibilities if handling the slower going.
7 FRANNY NISBET – Very slow improvement in three maidens for this daughter of Mount Nelson, with her best effort being a seventh at Chepstow on her latest start at the 1m 4f trip. She was outpaced when ridden but kept on steadily in the final two furlongs, so she should be happier at this trip. A mark of 60 on handicap debut isn’t necessarily harsh and she’s another with live each way claims, with the softer ground unlikely to be a problem.
8 NOBLE BEHEST – Well beaten in three mile maidens for Marcus Tregoning and showed very little again when only tenth of 11 on handicap debut at the 1m 4f trip. He was hampered leaving the stalls but never threatened to get involved, weakening tamely inside the final furlong. He is only two pounds lower today under Steve Drowne and he’s best watched.
9 PERCY THROWER – Eight race maiden whose best effort remains a fourth at Kempton on his second start, and is well beaten on most of his runs since. He was always towards the rear when ninth at Wolverhampton on his latest start and he’s only three pounds lower here in a similar race. Charlie Hills remains in good form, but this three-year-old is impossible to recommend, with the softer ground not guaranteed to suit.
10 NOTHING COMPARES – Has been placed on two occasions for Mark Johnston, keeping on well to finish third at Beverley over the two mile trip when last seen. He was still beaten around four lengths though and that was in maiden company. He was then well beaten back into handicaps when last seen at Nottingham. Softer ground shouldn’t be a problem, but he’s hard to recommend on balance and others are readily preferred.
11 LIGHT GUNNER – Five lengths third of 11 at Salisbury in May over the 1m 4f trip, however he failed to build on that when only eighth at Windsor when last seen in June. Trainer turns to the headgear as a result and, after looking at what he’s achieved in six winless starts, others are readily preferred and he’s dismissed.