Eight runners head to post for this two and a half mile handicap chase, chasing a first prize of nearly £7,000. Read on for our expert tip and runner by runner preview.
IN SUMMARY: Plenty of pace is likely here and while the like of Foundation Man and Such A Legend squabble for the lead, Richard Patrick can bide his time on DEFINITE FUTURE before pouncing late. Patrick has struck up a great rapport with this horse and he can confirm the form from his Aintree win with Forever My Friend.
1 DEFINITE FUTURE – Forged an excellent partnership with Richard Patrick, with three wins and a pair of seconds from just seven starts together. All those wins have come at this trip on decent ground so conditions look perfect once again. He is up another eight pounds for his most recent win at Aintree but that was his first run since November so is entitled to come on for the outing and he can take advantage of the contest, set up in front of him to stay on best.
2 FOREVER MY FRIEND – More exposed than Definite Future but is four pounds better off for a four length beating from that rival at Aintree. He scored since at Stratford, outstaying them late on, digging deep to return to the winners enclosure. There are a number who like to get on with things in the line-up which will favour him but he is ten years old now and running off a career high mark, which won’t make things easy.
3 DEAUVILLE DANCER – Has made a smart start to his chasing career, following up a wide margin win at Huntingdon with an equally impressive twelve length romp at Newton Abbot. A new career high mark may not be enough to stop him if in the form he showed in those wins, but both were over the minimum two miles, his form at this two and a half mile trip is nothing like as strong and that is a concern.
4 FOUNDATION MAN – Bold front runner who loves quick summer ground. He took his record to 0/7 after a break last time, though he would still have been expected to have been closer than he was. He is a pound below his highest winning mark, so he should be competitive, but will need to step up considerably on that most recent effort over this course and distance.
5 SUCH A LEGEND – Like Foundation Man and to a lesser extent Forever My Friend, he likes to go from the front, unlucky to bump into a lightly raced, progressive horse at Southwell last time. He was fourteen lengths in front of Marquis Of Carabas there and only three pounds worse off now, he should confirm the placings. His chance hinges on him being left along on the front end though, and that looks an unlikely prospect in this field.
6 MARQUIS OF CARABAS – Well behind Such A Legend at Southwell, improving significantly on that when skating up at Ffos Las on Thursday. Unsurprisingly he is brought out again quickly by connections under a penalty, before he is reassessed, but he has struggled from this sort of mark in the past so whether he can reproduce that win in a considerably deeper race is questionable.
7 CROWN THEATRE – Has his first run in this country for Jamie Snowdon, not seen since the Galway Festival last July. He was a close second from a pound higher at Cork in October 2015 in a similar level of contest to this. Has no great record fresh so is likely to improve for whatever he does here and in the past he has not always found a lot off the bridle when popped the question which is another concern.
8 BOBCATBILLY – Eleven year old has been seen just the once in the last fifteen months when pulled up at Stratford. He has only been running in hunter chases in a pair of starts before that so would be a very unlikely winner at this level of contest.