Just the one winning favourite in the three runnings of this race and a competitive looking renewal again this year despite just the eight combatants. Over £16,000 to the winner will make sure of a decent early pace and an interesting contest, read on for our tips, comments, and a full betting preview.
IN SUMMARY: A tough race to call with both Kaspersky and Poeta Diletto serious considerations if they can repeat their form when trained in Italy. Another Touch seems sure to run well for Richard Fahey and won’t be far away, but at the prices it may pay to side with BIG BAZ each-way this afternoon for the fruitful combination of trainer William Muir and jockey Martin Dwyer.
1 KASPERSKY – Jane Chapple-Hyam is responsible for the top-weight here who is looking for his thirteenth career win on only his second start for his new handler having arrived from Endo Botti in Italy. Group class in his homeland he also took the Group Two Aengevelt Meilen Trophy at Dusseldorf last July over a mile and may improve for his first run in over six months when a four and a half length fifth to Tabarrak at Ascot in a Listed race earlier this month. A decent sort who cannot be discounted dropping in class.
2 ALGAITH – Finished a quarter of a length in front of Kasperksy at Ascot and meets that rival on four pounds better terms today giving him obvious claims. Jim Crowley rides for trainer Owen Burrows who is struggling for recent winners (one from eight runners in the last two weeks for a 13% strike rate), but sure to improve for his last run when sent off a 16/12 chance and weighted to go close today.
3 BIG BAZ – The apple of Willie Muir’s eye and already the winner of seven races and over £145,000 in win and place prize money. His best efforts include two wins in Listed class at Kempton and Newmarket and although he is yet to win a handicap off higher than 99 and has to shoulder a rating of 102 this afternoon that may not ,be enough to stop him. Martin Dwyer rides as is often the case for his father-in-law (this will be their 21st start as a pairing) and at the prices he certainly looks solid each way value.
4 DRAGON MALL – David Simcock continues his rise through the training ranks and has had four winners in the last fortnight though it seems unlikely that Dragon Mall will add to that tally. Sent to Meydan in Dubai in January his last three races were in the sunshine and ended with a seven and a half length seventh to Viren’s Army in a mile and a quarter handicap when slowly away ,and as this is his first run since returning to the UK he may well be better for the race.
5 WHITE LAKE – One win from eight runs so far is less than inspiring but then again he is trained by the in-from Roger Varian (ten wins from his last thirty-five runners for a 29% strike rate) and will be ridden by Andrea Atzeni (thirteen winners from his last forty two rides for a 31% success percentage) – which has to make him of interest. Add a first time visor and he becomes all the more intriguing but three unplaced starts since leaving Luca Cumani and a six and a half length ninth at York last time out dampen the enthusiasm and a two pound drop in the weights may not be enough.
6 POETA DILETTO – Popular trainer Marco Botti is ticking over nicely of late but the son of Poet’s Voice needs to d a fair bit more than last time out when beaten over six lengths at Haydock over this trip with no obvious excuses. He has won at Group Three level at Capanelle not once but twice and including the Italian 2000 Guineas in 2016, but hasn’t looked up to too much since arriving in the UK this spring and needs to offer up a little bit more to get involved in the finish.
7 ANOTHER TOUCH – A classy handicapper trained by Richard Fahey who is as good as any at placing his horses to great effect. Still a relative youngster at the age of four he has run really well lately with a half length second to Banksea at Newbury followed by a solid fourth to Here Comes When in the Hambleton at York when possibly left with a bit too much to do. Although up a pound for that effort he does look the class act here and won’t be far away at the finish today granted a decent early pace which is anything but guaranteed.
8 ONE WORD MORE – Three wins from thirty-four starts for the son of Thousand Words who has scored at Ayr and Thirsk over seven furlongs, and at Kempton over this mile. He has won off a handicap mark of 99 and runs off of four pounds lower this afternoon so cannot be simply dismissed though this will be his first run since finishing an acceptable sixth to Highland Colori at York in October last year and although he has run well first time out in his younger days, it may be asking a bit too much of him at the age of seven.