Salisbury stages a £20,000 Class 2 handicap over 1m2f on Wednesday. Our experts’ betting tips focus on a well-handicapped 4yo that might return to form on the soft ground. Read on for our full race preview.
IN SUMMARY: There could still be some improvement to come from Landwade Lad, who has run well on both his starts this season and is respected. However, the most interesting runner at the prices is STORM ROCK, who has been out of form this summer but may not have been suited by fast ground or Polytrack on his last two outings, and is expected to be seen in a much better light now back on soft turf. Beach Bar is on a workable mark and will also be suited by today’s conditions. Zamperini produced a good performance to win at Sandown in July and is another with a part to play if in similar form after a break.
1 Captain Cat – Suited by slow ground and showed some very smart form when in the care of Roger Charlton; arguably a shade fortunate to escape with an unchanged handicap mark after going close in a Listed contest at Windsor (8.3f, soft) in June but makes debut for new stable after a three-month break and this stiff 1m2f might tax his stamina.
2 Master Carpenter – Ran well to a point in a 1m Group 3 event here last month and now reverts to a handicap off a mark 2lb lower than when landing the John Smith’s Cup at York (1m2f, good) last summer; disappointed in a small-field conditions race last time but is effective on slow ground and can’t be ruled out.
3 Captain Morley – Ended 2015 season with clearcut handicap win at Doncaster (1m4f, good) but has cut little ice in Pattern company on his three outings this year; will appreciate today’s ease in grade but has quite a bit to prove, including ability to cope with soft ground.
4 Beach Bar – Front-runner who is well handicapped on form shown at Meydan at the start of the year and is a dual winner on soft ground; not yet fully exposed over today’s trip and posted a sound effort when second in a 1m conditions race at Bath this month; one to consider.
5 Windshear – Excellent fourth in the 2014 St Leger but been well below his best form this season; didn’t run badly when third of five in a Doncaster conditions race (1m2f, good to soft) this month and should be fine on today’s ground, but still needs to up his game.
6 Landwade Lad – Just held on to score on belated seasonal debut at Windsor (1m2f, good to firm) last month, despite hanging badly left in the closing stages, and also ran well when second in a Doncaster conditions race (1m2f, good to soft) three weeks ago; yet to encounter genuine soft ground but not yet fully exposed and needs to be taken very seriously.
7 Zamperini – Well beaten on first two starts this season but returned to form with narrow-margin success at Sandown (1m2f, good to soft) in early July; not seen again since then but that form looks very solid and today’s even softer ground won’t be a problem; enters calculations.
8 Fidaawy – Lightly raced 3yo who displayed a significant jolt of improvement when making all to score by 7f at Doncaster (1m2f, good to firm) last month, his second handicap; however, was hiked up 12lb for that and finished last of four at Goodwood on latest outing; risky until proving he can cope with current mark.
9 Storm Rock – Now back on the same mark as when winning a similar-quality event on soft ground at Leicester (8.3f) 11 months ago; seems to have lost his way this season and finished down the field when upped to 1m3f on Polytrack on latest outing, but today’s return to soft turf an obvious plus.
myracing Forecast Prices: 4/1 Landwade Lad, Fidaawy, 9/2 Zamperini, 6/1 Captain Morley, Beach Bar, 7/1 Master Carpenter, 8/1 Captain Cat, 12/1 Storm Rock, 14/1 Windshear