Six runners go to post for the third race on the card at Carlisle. It is an open looking novices’ handicap, see below for our full race preview and expert’s tips.
IN SUMMARY: – MODULUS boasts recent winning form (won 3 of his last 4) and still looks on the up so he gets our verdict in a race where a few contenders have question marks. The step back up in trip will suit based on his previous form and the soft ground won’t be an issue either. He showed a good attitude to get up last time out and should be hard to beat if in the same heart. Hills Of Dubai could be the one to follow him home on handicap debut, but he does come with the risks attached considering this is his first race back from a lay off.
1 MAGIC DANCER – Has run five times over hurdles so far and finished runner up on three of those occasions. That form should see him in the mix once again but the step up in trip asks a question based on his pedigree which doesn’t suggest it will suit. The ground however will be something in his favour, his only win on the flat (rated 90 in that sphere) came on the soft ground he gets today.
2 LITTLE BRUCE – A beaten favourite last time out over today’s course and distance and his best form is elsewhere. The 11lb rise for winning at Ayr in January seemed to take its toll at the finish last time and he is only a pound lighter today. The His trainer Philip Kirby is having a good season so far and has a level stakes profit of +22.08.
3 MODULUS – The gelding has been successful on 3 of his last 4 runs and still looks on the improve. The step back up in trip won’t be a problem at all considering he won at Uttoxeter in February at the same distance, that was on heavy ground and he ran out a 12 length winner so he has plenty of stamina for today’s race. He has a penalty to shoulder but his current form suggests he is capable of dealing with it, leading claims.
4 HILLS OF DUBAI – He hasn’t been seen on the racetrack since June of last year but he is an interesting contender on handicap debut. Going off a mark of 109 looks workable judged on his 5 runs so far, one being a point to point win on soft ground. He is vulnerable when it comes to race fitness but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him involved.
5 MISFITS – No wins from 13 attempts under rules and he is probably best watched in today’s race. He was a distance 4th when he was returning to hurdles last time (heavy ground), and he may need better ground to show some improved form. A positive would be trainer Lucinda Russell has a good strike rate in the past two weeks (24%), she has 4 winners from 17 runners in that time.
6 SUGGESTION – Trainer Philip Kirby’s second runner in the field but this looks his unlikeliest winner of the two. He was 3rd last time but the result flatters him considering he was beaten by 42 lengths that day. His only win came in a 2-runner bumper at Southwell on good ground, his mark of 99 is workable on handicap debut, but he needs to show a fair amount of improvement to be involved.