One of those complicated races where the horses weight is allocated via the selling price at specific sales but with £300,000 guaranteed in prize money it will always attract a pretty decent field. Statistics show just the two winning favourites in ten years but Richard Fahey winning three of the last ten renewals suggesting he targets the race. Although he has two entries Tony Hamilton is on board Scofflaw (50/1) which presumably makes the son of Foxwedge the stable number one, though he will have to improve on what he’s shown so far to get involved. After winning a novice event at Chester he finished third of four to Love Dreams at Pontefract and then tenth of seventeen in a nursery at Goodwood and will need to show some serious improvement to get involved here.
As much as we respect the Fahey yard, we prefer the chances of Spiritual Lady (5/1) with Silvestre de Sousa riding off his lowest weight of eight stone one. Phil McBride trains the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits who looks well bought at £9,000 and has already won two of her three races and over £20,000 in prize money. Last time out she beat La Casa Tarifa by a very easy three and three quarter lengths at Chelmsford, quickening up nicely and catching the eye, and although this is obviously tougher, she looks like she has a touch of class.
Jeremy Noseda has won it twice and is quietly having a pretty decent season. He has Firefright (28/1) in here who also has some decent form to his name, including a second to Hurricane Rush over a furlong further at Epsom leaving a fast run race looking ideal for his chances. He does look to be improving race on race suggesting there may be a bit more to come and he will have Jamie Spencer on board which is rarely a bad thing.
William Haggas is another in-form trainer targeting this race and he relies on the interesting Mubtasim (13/2) who won his first two races at Yarmouth and Haydock before finding the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes too much for him at York. Not disgraced that day in eighth he should find this an awful lot easier, and thanks to the race conditions he gets in here off a nice racing weight.
To round things off we look at Mark Johnston’s Rusumaat (14/1) with Paul Hanagan on board. So far she has had seven races, winning two of them at Redcar and Catterick and finishing runner up three times as well so the son of Arcano clearly has plenty of ability, though whether she can build on that form to take this event is open to question after so many races.