Plenty of bang in form horses are entered to run here and if they all show up we could be in for some race! Our idea of the best priced value option has to be Baku Bay who sits sweetly three quarters of the way down the handicap off a manageable ten stone ten. His admirable consistency does mean the handicapper rarely relents but his second to Mystifiable last time out at Newbury when he was outpace over a short trip but stepped back up to this three miles he ought to run really well and at a decent price too.
Heading the list of improvers but at a poor price we have Nick Kent’s Gonalston Cloud, an acceptable if not exceptional hurdler who has seen the light since being sent over the larger obstacles. A Class Four handicap chase at Catterick saw him score off a mark of 92 after which he was put up 1§01 before scoring by nine lengths at Doncaster from Hollow Blue Sky, which resulted in yet more weight with another rise, this time an additional stone (the handicapper must have got out of the wrong side of the bed that day), but even that didn’t stop him as he won again at Catterick by an eased down three lengths plus. “Only” put up another nine pounds for that win, who is to say whether the handicapper has him or whether he is still improving, but either way he must have a chance of a four timer this afternoon.
Meanwhile, young trainer Dan Skelton is having a good time of late and had a winner at Cheltenham with Superb Story so is in a racing high, leaving Thinger Licht as one to consider. Outpaced over two and three quarter miles last time out by Bodega, the step back up in trip should suit him admirably and b ring about the necessary improvement, wit the better going perfectly acceptable based on all of his earlier winning form over hurdles and fences.
Looking further down the weights and Micky Hammond has one with a squeak hiding away near the bottom in the shape of Auldthunder. Although this will be a big step up in class, he has won his last three chases at Catterick (twice) and Sedgefield, and deserves a shot at the big time now the handicapper has put him up a total of twenty three pounds for daring to win! The going could be an issue as the son of Oscar has done all his best work on a softer surface but it will help him to shrug off the weight rises and he is an each way option at the least in our book.
Our old friend Gary Moore looks likely to send Leo Luna here, and we were pleased to see him win his first race of the season last time out at Warwick. They have always thought a lot of the son of the legendary Galileo but for some reason just couldn’t get him right hence being pulled up at Ascot and Wincanton, but with that confidence booster behind him and frankly a weaker field than some he has met, who is to say he can’t double up here and at a decent price as well?