IN SUMMARY: Richard Fahey holds a strong hand in a race in which only a handful of the runners make appeal. Miss Van Gogh ended her productive 2015 campaign with a win on slow ground and has scope to make further progress this year but this is a drop in class for IMSHIVALLA (13/2), who was placed in a heavy-ground Listed contest two starts ago and was competitive in some good-quality handicaps beforehand. She gets the vote. Ziggys Star won three times on the AW over the winter but encounters very different underfoot conditions today. Mystic Miraaj went very close on his final two starts in 2015 and won’t be far away if ready to roll after an absence.
1 Shouranour – Ended 2014 season with creditable second off today’s mark for David O’Meara at Doncaster (7f, heavy) and will also be fine over today’s trip, but makes debut for new stable after 520-day absence and is entitled to benefit from this outing.
2 Imshivalla – Signed off with disappointing AW run in November but had posted a new career-best performance just a few days earlier, when third in Doncaster Listed event (1m2f, heavy); will cope with today’s drop back in trip and find this easier than most of the races she contested in 2015.
3 Genres – Won Windsor maiden (1m2f, good to firm) for John Gosden last May but was comfortably held in first two handicaps and then sold for 10,000gns; remains lightly raced but it’s hard to predict how he’ll cope with heavy ground on stable debut; considered only if lively in the betting.
4 Miss Van Gogh – Made good progress in 2015 and ended that campaign with soft-ground success at Newmarket (1m); subsequent 3lb rise doesn’t look excessive and she could have more to offer this season, but jockey bookings suggest Imshivalla is stable’s main hope today.
5 Abushamah – Built upon promising stable debut when scoring over C&D (good to firm) last summer and was involved in bunch-finish in quite valuable event back here in October; soundly beaten when reappearing on heavy ground last month, though, and conditions a concern again today.
6 Kalk Bay – Second of two wins last season came off a mark 3lb higher than today’s; handles soft ground (unraced on heavy) and has gone well fresh before but is getting long in the tooth now and others have more pressing claims.
7 Ziggys Star – Three wins on the AW this winter, the latest over today’s trip at Kempton in February; might still be progressing and ran reasonably well on soft turf last summer, but it remains to be seen whether today’s conditions show her in her best light.
8 Osteopathic Remedy – Old-timer who proved a significant chunk of ability remains when placed in Thirsk Hunt Cup (1m, good to firm) for Michael Dods last May; will also cope with today’s ground but has moderate record when fresh; makes debut for John Davies today.
9 Gambino – Struck form and gained clearcut win at Haydock (1m, good) last May; also ran some decent races afterwards but returns from 196-day absence on fairly tough mark and probably needs much faster ground to be seen to best effect.
10 – Mystic Miraaj – Sole win from 13 starts came in small-field Class 6 event but he lost out only in photo-finishes on final two starts last season, the first time in quite valable C&D event; effective on soft ground (unraced on heavy); in the mix if fully revved up.
myracing Forecast Prices: 7/2 Mystic Miraaj, 4/1 Imshivalla, Miss Van Gogh, 5/1 Ziggys Star, 10/1 Kalk Bay, 12/1 Genres, 14/1 Abushamah, Osteopathic Remedy, 16/1 Shouranour, 20/1 Gambino