With Khamaary ruled out as a late non-runner CASIMIRO looks to have a good opportunity to further his trainer’s impressive Chester record. With the riders claim and the chance that turf will add more improvement it’s hard to ignore him today.
Roger Charlton has a good strike rate in recent times with 21% of his last 29 runners passing the post first and the market is speaking positively of handicap debutante Casimiro, who has only run once. This son of Casamento created a big impression in that run however when storming clear in a Lingfield maiden after travelling like a dream throughout the contest. An opening mark of 87 rates him the same as the previously mentioned Khamaary which perhaps indicates more is required, but he’s the dark horse in this race and he falls under the category of ‘could be anything’. The switch to turf should help eek out further progression from this promising three year old and with Kieran Shoemark taking off a useful 3lb, he needs to be considered.
A very consistent runner for Richard Fahey with form figures of 3432213 since debut, Starlight Romance has been in great form the last twice and another big run looks on the cards. A three year old daughter of Excelebration, she won on her seasonal debut at Beverley despite having to be switched and a five pound rise wasn’t enough to stop her posting another good effort when third at York twenty-four days ago. The handicapper has again raised her further in the weights, this time by three pounds, but she looks progressive this season and that is unlikely to stop her from posting another good run under three pound claimer Adam McNamara. She perhaps is vulnerable to the two aforementioned rivals who are improving rapidly, but she wouldn’t be amiss in the placings with this better ground perhaps the catalyst to further improvement.
Fourth in the market is Ralph Beckett’s Subatomic and on the face of it, he does need more if he’s to be threatening. He broke his maiden at the third attempt after showing minor promise in two previous maidens, keeping on strongly to land that Leicester maiden comfortably. He returned this season over the mile distance at the same venue in softer ground, well beaten after weakening tamely when asked for an effort. On that evidence a drop back in trip on better ground should suit him, though he is yet to run on truly ‘good’ ground. This 110,000gns purchase by Qatar Racing has a good pedigree so surely better can be expected of him in time, so he’s not one to take lightly despite that seasonal debut as he may have needed it. He looks to have good each way claims under Oisin Murphy and isn’t one to pass over for powerful connections.
Although well beaten on his latest start, it’s too soon to give up on Itsakindamagic for Andrew Balding who should have more to give with time. Showing promise on debut at Nottingham in October, he returned this season when winning a maiden at Chelmsford with ease, though he struggled over the same C&D on handicap debut where he was far too keen early on and showed some temperament. A return to turf could be the catalyst to further improvement, though more is certainly needed against some rivals who are clearly on a upwards curve. He is a possible each way contender under Thomas Brown if given a soft lead, but he looks vulnerable for win purposes.