A tricky looking sprint handicap comes next on the televised cards and as this race has been won twice in the last four years by Kevin Ryan it makes sense to start our race preview with Mont Kiara (7/1) who arrives here on the back of a course and distance success when seeing off Priceless by a head in the Adnams Ease Up IPA Handicap. The son of Kendargent has been put up for that to a new career high handicap mark of 95 this afternoon which won’t make his life any easier, but he was running on strongly that day so the bigger the field and faster the pace the better his chances of a last minute run to the front, though the extra five pounds the handicapper has given him now could well be enough to stop him here.
We prefer the chances of Roger Charlton’s Projection (10/3) who will be cherry ripe now after the two races this season. Returning after ten months off he finished less than two lengths behind Dancing Star at Newmarket and followed that with a two and a half length fifth to Hoof It in the Steward’s Sprint Stakes and with further improvement likely even the extra pound from the handicapper didn’t ought to be enough to stop him.
Nearer to the bottom we have a live wire option in Summer Chorus (22/1) with Andrew Baling booking Jimmy Quin to ride off eight stone. Admittedly both his wins have been on the polytrack at Lingfield over five and then six furlongs but she looked to be coming back to that sort of form on the turf last time out when runner up to Vincentti at Brighton when we felt she hit the front a bit too soon, and if she can be held on to a bit longer here she has a half decent chance of success off a rating just the two pounds higher.
Talking of bottom weights and Futon (18/1) is on the same rating less Josephine Gordon’s three pound claim. In her case the sixth furlong is the biggest question having tried it three times without success but she wasn’t stopping last time out over five at Newcastle and on breeding it shouldn’t be an issue, but it is a nagging doubt and supporters need to build that in to their expected price.
Lastly we like the recent form of Powerallied (16/1) who is in the capable hands of Richard Fahey and arrives here in good heart. Although his first win was at Musselburgh he seems at his best around Chester with both wins since at the Roodeye and a good second there last time out staying on strongly over the five furlongs. It may be time to step him up to the sixth furlong again this afternoon based on that run and with his stable farming the televised races week on week even the step up in grade may not stop him placing here at the very least.