Decent sprint handicap named in the memory of David Chapman who excelled with sprinters in his training career. Our expert tip and runner by runner preview are below.
IN SUMMARY: TARBOOSH has been in flying form since he had his wind operated on. He won for the third time this season when getting up in the final stride to win at Carlisle last time. He is still progressing and open to further improvement so he can go in again. Lexington Place was in front of the selection at Pontefract two runs ago but behind him last time; he would be an apt winner of the contest for Ruth Carr, who is granddaughter of David Chapman. Aleef hasn’t been seen in action since November, but he won first time up last year and still appears feasibly treated.
1 ALEEF – Not seen since November, but he won on his first start of 2016 after a year off so that absence isn’t too much of a concern. He was a winner from two pounds lower at Newmarket last season and doesn’t look badly treated on the back of that. He wouldn’t want the ground to get too quick, however he is unexposed enough to have more improvement in the tank so has a solid each way chance.
2 EXCESSABLE – Enjoying a strong season, already a three time winner this campaign. He was threatening to look a little poorly handicapped before landing a competitive handicap at York last time, a win that has seen his mark rise to a career high. That was the best performance of his career, however, so the rise is justified. Holds strong chances once more.
3 TARBOOSH – A wind operation in the spring has made a huge difference to him, winning three handicaps. He just got up in the nick of time to win by a nose at Carlisle last time, so he will appreciate this being run at a proper gallop. He is three pounds higher here but, given the rate he is progressing after having his breathing sorted, he still looks open to better and gets the vote.
4 STANGHOW – Steadily progressive for the last two seasons, winning on three occasions. This trip on decent ground suits him well, as will this track which suits those with his running style of forcing the pace. The big doubt for him however is this depth of contest; he has placed at Class 3 level before but has failed to win in 12 attempts when racing above Class 4.
5 ARZAAK – Two wins and three runner-up efforts from his last seven starts, he has been in solid form so far this campaign. He has finished second the last twice – once on firm and once on soft – so there are no ground issues and this is his favoured trip. He needs to find a little more if he is to defy this mark at Class 3 level, but he is still relatively lightly raced with the possibility of more to come.
6 MUATADEL – Took until his 13th attempt to break his duck but has exploded into life since with another pair of wins and a close second to add to his form. His most recent win means that he is three pounds worse off with Lexington Place for that half length beating, which is going to demand more again. He didn’t look as though he was done improving when powering home at Beverley last time, so he may yet find the extra he will need if he is to get his head in front again.
7 SILVANUS – Twelve-year-old who still had enough speed in his legs to win at Musselburgh in June. He has continued to run with plenty of credit since, but was beaten a long way in this contest in 2016 and he has been in Class 3 events for the majority of the last 18 months. He holds no secrets from anyone and it looks like he will probably struggle to get involved.
8 OLIVIA FALLOW – Ran a pair of smart races in the spring from eight pounds higher at this level, but she has struggled to get close to that level since. This is as far down the weights as she has been since June 2015 which makes her of some interest, Nevertheless, she hasn’t shown enough for the past few months to think that she can win this.
9 LEXINGTON PLACE – There would be no more popular winner in this contest than this horse, trained by David Chapman’s granddaughter Ruth Carr. He finally halted the slide down the weights at Pontefract two starts ago when getting the better of Muatadel, he was then disappointing when behind Tarboosh the next time – a horse that he had beaten at Pontefract. He is still off a feasible mark on his best form and, despite that form coming on soft ground, he has always been better on quicker ground.