Plenty of number in this Class 6 sprint handicap but the market suggests that only one horse is going to matter. Our full runner by runner preview and tip are below.
IN SUMMARY: Really hard to get away from ARCRIC ANGEL here, James Fanshawe’s horse unlucky to bump into a dual subsequent winner on his handicap debut but a two pound rise means he can remain in Class 6 company. Specialv would appreciate a drop of rain but this is easier than when fourth at Thirsk three runs ago and is a player if they go fast enough in front. Fortinbrass and First Excel are others to consider for the places.
1 ARCTIC ANGEL – Dark Angel gelding is a four race maiden who was soundly beaten on his first two runs but got the hang of things at Wolverhampton in December where he finished second. He then built on that and has been raised just 2lb from last months second at Kempton. The form of that reads well with the winner going in twice since, the latter off 9lbs higher and with decent claimer George Wood taking the reins he looks a clear pick remaining in Class 6 grade.
2 SPECIALV – Been a bit out of sorts recently with a couple of poor runs at Wetherby and Beverley. However, she’s 4lbs lower than her last winning mark and drops into Class 6 company for the first time since January last year. Her run here in 2016 was a good one when she finished fourth, albeit over a longer trip but the return to 6f should play to her strengths and if able to recapture some form she could be well handicapped in this company.
3 GUNG HO JACK – Another who takes a drop in class following a couple sub-par recent efforts despite not being beaten that far. A nine times winner, but seven of those have come on the All Weather, he has run some creditable races on good ground which should stand him in good stead today. He benefits from a lower turf mark here and if capturing some of his form from the artificial surface he might be well handicapped.
4 ARCHIMEDES – Still 4lbs higher than his last winning mark and both wins have come over the minimum trip. This step up to 6f isn’t sure to suit as both of his tries over the distance he has been comfortably beaten, also his best efforts on turf have come on Good To Firm ground. He looks up against it off this mark against more experienced handicappers.
5 SOARING SPIRITS – Winless since July last year, but his mark has been dropping and he’s now back on that last winning mark today. Has been tried at varying distances over the last year but the majority of his wins have come over this trip, he takes a slight drop in class but needs to start showing some form again this season if he is to get back to winning ways.
6 ATHOLLBLAIR BOY – On a long losing run and needs to put it firmly behind him. Was a close second over this course and distance in May last year off 10lbs higher which provides some encouragement. Two of his last three runs have come over a mile or further and he hasn’t got home, sandwiched between those efforts was a good run over 7f, this further drop in distance back to sprinting could bring about some improvement.
7 LUCKY LODGE – Running well this season with form figures reading 3244 and no reason why that would change here. Is 3 from 37 on turf though which is a little worrying and his last win on the surface came in 2014. He has visited Nottingham on a couple of occasions and finished third both times so that does provide connections with some hope. However he doesn’t look obviously well handicapped and could find a couple too good again.
8 FORTINBRASS – Raced solely on the Fibresand at Southwell on his last 10 starts and if not inconvenienced by the return to turf can run a good race. He remains on a workable mark despite already winning twice this year. Only start at the track yielded a second place finish and stable is in good form with 2 winners from it’s last 3 runners, respected.
9 AMBITIOUS ICARUS – Won on his seasonal reappearance on the All Weather at Newcastle, but hasn’t hit those heights in his last five starts on turf. He does have three course wins to his name, with the most recent of those coming off a mark of 75. Only one of his wins has come over 6f and eyeshields return to replace the blinkers after a poor effort last time in that particular headgear.
10 LOVEATFIRSTSIGHT – A six race maiden that has predominantly competed over 7f, her breeding suggests she will be seen to better effect as a sprinter so this trip should suit her better. Her reappearance run at Chelmsford wasn’t overly encouraging but she may have just needed that and better will be expected here. She makes her turf debut and if taking to it has the potential to be better than this mark, interesting.
11 FIRST EXCEL – Maiden on turf but has run well over course and distance. His last 3 runs have all been over different distances, the latest of those over 5f was the most promising and this return to 6f should see him in an even better light. Being just 2lb higher than his last win and with that winning jockey back on board, he could run well.
12 BOGSNOG – Moved to Ruth Carr at the beginning of the season and got off the mark for his new stable at the third attempt, has run well in three turf starts subsequently (starting favourite for two of them) and has been dropped 1lb. His latest run was over course and distance where he finished fourth and the form is working out well with the winner going in again and the runner up racking up a hat-trick. Should run well again.
13 BUSHWISE – Has struggled since gaining back to back victories in May last year, but half of her subsequent runs have been on the All Weather though where she doesn’t possess a good record (0-12) so those efforts can probably be ignored. She’s down to a workable mark and if building on Saturday’s run then she can make her presence felt.
14 PYROCLASTIC – Been over two years since his only win, which came on the All Weather. Changed yards last summer but that hasn’t seemed to have helped as he has been well beaten on all his starts for his new stable. No obvious reason why things will be any different today.
15 SIXTIES SYMPHONY – Winless in 4 starts and has been soundly beaten on each occasion. To say she looks up against it, even in this company is possibly an understatement.