Our race preview takes a look at a mile and a quarter Handicap for three year olds at Chester on Friday. Most of these have a progressive look to their profiles and it could be a race to revisit between now and the end of the season.
IN SUMMARY: A fascinating six runner contest here with a case of sorts to be made for all the runners. It’s no surprise to see PLAYFUL SOUND a short price at the head of the betting given that her pedigree suggests that she will be better than a handicapper sooner rather than later and for a yard in form, has to get the vote to keep her unbeaten record in tact. Cote D’Azur has been very progressive this season and he may not be done yet while Sark despite being the outsider often suggests that he’s capable of better.
1 COTE D’AZUR – Very progressive in 2016, rattling up a quick fire four timer, the first three for Sir Mark Prescott and the latest for current trainer Les Eyre. This mark of 92 stopped that winning streak when last we saw him but he looked a little unlucky in running on that occasion so he shouldn’t be judged too harshly on that. The question marks would be this sharper track and also that he has had more racing than any of these others but he is by no means dismissed.
2 PLAYFUL SOUND – Sir Michael Stoute has enjoyed a very successful 2016 so far with more than 90 winners at a very strong strike rate of 25%. This Street Cry filly has been seen just twice but has won both of those outings, first at Salisbury and then on her handicap debut at York. She has achieved less on the bare form than Cote D’Azur but her dam was a Group 2 winner and when this fillies Grand Dam went to Street Cry she threw both a Group 3 and a Listed winner! Given the impression she made at York, it looks only a matter of time before she adds black type to her own resume.
3 BROROCCO – Has grown up plenty this summer but still looks to have some quirks. He has a tendency to give the opposition a few lengths from the stalls and also has sometimes found much less than looks likely given that he is a strong traveller. The race probably wasn’t run to suit when beaten off this mark at Yarmouth last time but there are still enough question marks for him to be passed over.
4 TUKHOOM – Will have gone into plenty of notebooks around the country when travelling like a dream on his seasonal return at Goodwood before running out a very comfortable winner. He has failed to back that up in a pair of handicaps since with soft ground a legitimate excuse in the first but it’s harder to find a reason for his defeat at Ascot last time. He is still unexposed and shouldn’t be written off entirely but by a sprinter out of a miler, this step up to 10f would not be a positive on pedigree.
5 TOBOGGAN’S FIRE – Twice a winner on turf so far in her career but they were on soft and heavy ground. She ran well on good at Hamilton two starts back so she is not necessarily a mudlark but although this trip could bring about a little more improvement, this is a deeper race than she has been running in and the trip will need to bring a considerable jolt of improvement.
6 SARK – The outsider of the 6 runners, but look back to his win in April at Doncaster when beating a certain Red Verdon and one could be forgiven for thinking that he should be considerably shorter in the market. He has not exactly set the world alight in starts since despite running well and perhaps a return to 10f from further could finally help him unlock an improved effort.