Trainer Mick Channon has won two of the five renewals of this race while George Baker (get well soon George) has ridden the winner twice as well, but as neither are represented here this afternoon that tells us very little. One winning favourite (at odds of 8/11) is not too promising for jolly backers but every winner of this sprint has started at 6/1 or less so we await our first outsider. Read on for our horse by horse race preview plus tip below.
IN SUMMARY: With Newmarket handler Roger Varian continuing in great form and any amount of further improvopelemnt to come from YALAWIN he looks the one to be on this afternoon and has already been well supported in the early markets. He is hard to oppose though Barrington could go well at a price if only he could recapture some of his juvenile form for the first time yet this season.
1 BARRINGTON – Trained in Lambourn by Charlie Hills and presumably named after his trainer father (better known as Barry), the son of Casamento has to carry top weight of nine-stone-seven here under Oisin Murphy but deserves his rating after some good efforts as a juvenile that included a maiden win at Windsor and a good sixth of nine to Mehmas in the Group Two July Stakes, but is yet to prove he has really trained on at three with a sixth of eight at Newbury in Listed class over six furlongs where the soft ground was against him, and twenty length eighteenth of twenty at Royal Ascot in the Group Three Jersey Stakes when never really delighted, but he is dropped in class considerably this afternoon and would win this with ease if he can only recapture his 2016 form.
2 TOMILY – A pretty consistent sort with a top four placing in thirteen of his seventeen starts the Canford Cliffs colt has won three times headed by a Class Three Conditions race over this trip at Lingfield on the polytrack back in February. The Firm going predicted here is an unknown quantity for him and most of his rivals and the fact that he has won on soft has to be seen as a potential concern. Last time out Ryan Moore rode him in to fourth at Salisbury, just half a length off the winner when running on over five furlongs and with that little bit extra to travel, he could go close if handling the quicker going off his one pound lower rating.
3 YALAWIN – The Roger Varian stable continue in great form with their 19% strike rate thanks to eight winners from their last forty-two runners and the speedy son of Lawman has been in good form so far this season with a win on his return over six furlongs at Ripon to take his maiden followed closely by a keeping on length second to Evergate over five furlongs at Windsor. An added 160yards this afternoon may play to his strengths, and he may well have more improvement to come than many of his more exposed rivals, but on what he has achieved so far, a rating of 89 seems fair enough and his supporters seem by far the likeliest to collect this afternoon.
4 SUPER JULIUS – Also engaged in the .720pm at Windsor on Monday night so not guaranteed to run here. If he does, then he is the only horse engaged to be on a winning run after victories at Wolverhampton and then at Brighton, both in Class Five sprint handicaps. Up another three pounds for his last narrow win and upped in class there is every chance that Eve Johnson Houghton’s Bated Breath gelding may now be in the grip of the handicapper, and others look to have better claims this afternoon.
5 OPEN WIDE – Looks like he will be wearing both a hood and blinkers for the first time which is a little unusual but presumably trainer Amanda Perrett has a plan in mind for the son of Invincible Spirit who has placed in his last three starts but not won since a maiden victory in October last season at Windsor. Last time out he did look as if he might have been outfought by winner Parnassian in a similar race to this hence the added headgear, and if it/they have the desired effect, he could go really well here off just one pound higher. Better still, the yard are in profit recently thanks to two wins from just the twelve runners for a 17% success rate and over thirteen points of profit, so we can all expect a big run here.
6 ARZAAK – Chris Dwyer’s won over five furlongs by a neck two races ago but seemed to find an added four pounds from the handicapper too much for him last time out when a well beaten fourth to Mabs Cross at Windsor, four and three-quarter lengths adrift of the winner at the line. The stable are pretty quiet of late with one winner but just the six runners in the last two weeks, and although he has been dropped a pretty generous two pounds, this is a rise in class and others make that bit more appeal at this stage.
7 MR POCKET – Bottom weight of eight-stone-nine for Paul Cole’s charge who has won two of his ten starts and won’t mind the rattling fast going after scoring (well, dead-heating) here at Bath over course and distance in April. Put up five pounds for that by the handicapper he has since finished second twice in three starts and has been given another two pounds for a neck second to Ginzan at Brighton, again on pretty fast ground. He will undoubtedly handle conditions but looks to be a bit too high in the weights even for a stable who are currently very profitable to follow with three wins from their last twelve runners (25%) and over thirty points of level stakes profit.