3.40pm Windsor Tips & Betting Preview 02/07/2017

A smart looking field for this 0-105 mile handicap go to post, chasing a first prize of a shade under £13,000. Read on for our runner by runner guide and tip for the contest.

IN SUMMARY: CHELSEA LAD is a reliable sort having either won or placed on four of his five career starts. He’s been raised 2lbs for his latest effort but that may not be enough to stop him in this having bumped into a useful sort last time out and he can go in again today. Donncha should be able to get involved based on his Doncaster Lincoln form and ranks as his main opponent in this.

1 DARK EMERALD – Best known for his Dubai heroics in early 2015, it is September of that year since he last got his head in front. A close third in the Hungerford Stakes last season suggests that he is still capable of mixing it with the big boys, and although his form this year has been disappointing, he has slipped to a workable mark and has conditions to suit.

2 DONNCHA – Began his season with an excellent third in the Lincoln but ran a long way below par when last seen in mid May at York. That was a puzzling run with conditions in his favour, so has to be treated with a degree of caution. If he is able to return to the Lincoln form though, from a one pound lower mark, he would be a danger to all.

3 CHELSEA LAD – Just the five starts, has been sent off favourite for a pair of competitive handicaps this season. A sound runner up last time at York (in the race where Donncha disappointed) he looked like a sounder surface might suit him better. Surely capable of more improvement given his profile, this quirky mile might be just the ticket to get his head in front once again.

4 MURAD KHAN – Progressed well in 2016, notching up a hat-trick at a lower level, proving himself ground versatile in the process. He is another who was behind Chelsea Lad at York last time out, but a gelding operation since has the potential to show him in a better light. Another who is lightly raced, he represents a yard who have come back to form this week.

5 MEDBURN DREAM – Skated up when dropped in grade at Lingfield last Saturday, quickening up smartly when a gap came, to put the race to bed in a matter of strides. A ten pound rise for that is fair on the performance but given that he has struggled beyond 85 in the past, a step up to Class 2 from 93 looks well beyond his capabilities.

6 GENERAL MACARTHUR – Ex Ballydoyle, he struggled to find his level in Ireland, coming up short in better company, his sole win in 2016 coming in a soft race at Navan. Shaped well enough on his most recent start for new connections when given a lot to do in a similar level handicap to this at Sandown. He stayed on nicely from the back there but will need to pick up quicker on this sharper track to play a hand.

7 STORM AHEAD – Despite winning over a mile at Salisbury on soft ground as a three year old, he was disappointing under the same conditions when sent off a warm 7/4 favourite last time out. He had shaped with promise the time before in the Spring Cup at Newbury, when only half a length behind Donncha. If taking into account the claim of his rider, he is seven pounds better off for that beating, which would give him a solid chance in this company.

8 GEORGIAN BAY – Difficult horse to win with, 3/49 overall with a miserable 0/25 record when competing on turf. He was only beaten a length when third in Wednesday’s Carlisle Bell so he is capable of a big run on grass but this is a quick reappearance and given his record, the percentage call has to be to oppose him.

9 EASY TIGER – Has filled the runner up spot on seven occasions since he last got his head in front, ten pounds higher than that Goodwood success two years ago. He is on a competitive enough mark – if he were racing at his level – but it is hard to see him getting involved on his 2017 return in such a deep race. Has joined the Malcolm Saunders yard so will no doubt be competitive in 0-80 grade next time at Salisbury or Bath once the cobwebs have been blown away, but not here.

10 LADY PERIGNON – The sole filly in the line-up, she has to compete from a pound out of the handicap. She stepped forward considerably on her two turf runs in 2016 but not enough to suggest that she has enough ability to compete at this level. Also due to run at Chester on Friday evening.

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