IN SUMMARY: This doesn’t look as competitive as a lot of 3yo handicap at this time of year but THE KING’S STEED (7/2) caught the eye making steady late headway in a 7f maiden on his seasonal reappearance and is fancied to display improvement on today’s handicap debut. The selection’s stablemate, Cape Banjo, failed to live up to market expectations on his seasonal bow but both his 2yo starts were full of promise and he is another interesting handicap debutant. Medburn Dream has made an excellent start to the season, winning from the front twice on soft ground, and is 2lb well-in under a penalty, but today’s faster ground presents a question mark. Jazzy ought to be suited by today’s drop back in trip and we probably haven’t seen the best of Peter Park yet.
1 Cape Banjo – Made pleasing debut when close second at Kempton (1m, AW) in November and probably went off too quickly when a beaten favourite over 1m there the following month; slightly disappointing when back in action five weeks ago but remains open to improvement now switched to turf and fitted with a hood for first handicap.
2 Torment – Gained convincing debut win at Windsor (6f, good to firm) in June but failed to progress and was virtually pulled up in 7f York nursery when last seen in September; not written off just yet but begins new season with quite a bit to prove.
3 Motdaw – 0-5 last season but came good with 6l win on reappearance at Nottingham (8.3f, heavy) this month; also ran well when third under 6lb penalty at Beverley (7.5f, soft) a week later but the full 11lb hike up the weights has now taken effect and today’s faster ground may not show her in the same light.
4 Jazzy – Won four-runner Kempton maiden when upped to 1m4f in January and followed-up in 1m handicap there a few days later; spoiled chance by refusing to settle over 1m3f after a break this month but is dropped back in trip again today and could have a say if more settled this time.
5 Lord Huntingdon – Posted improved form and gained breakthrough win at Southwell (1m, AW) last month, his sixth start; might build on that performance if suited by today’s switch to turf but has been treated quite sternly by the handicapper and may not be straightforward; others preferred.
6 Art Echo – Won his maiden at Brighton (7f, soft) in October, his fourth start, and subsequent fifth in a Kempton nursery was very respectable; not yet fully exposed but needs to find something extra to win this and lacks a recent run.
7 Glance My Way – Outran 66-1 odds when fourth at Newbury (1m, good to soft) in October but was well below that form on final 2yo start and also disappointing (albeit on soft ground) on recent reappearance; huge leap of faith required to back him after that.
8 Knight Commander – Last of six when upped to 1m3f for seasonal debut at Kempton last month; ran well over C&D as a 2yo and might fare better now dropped back in trip and with a run under his belt, but remains a maiden after seven starts and others have more pressing claims.
9 Peter Park – Comfortably held in two 7f nurseries in the autumn and has only been dropped 1lb ahead of today’s seasonal reappearance; needs to improve but didn’t look the finished article last season and has shaped as though well worth a crack at 1m.
10 Medburn Dream – Didn’t show a huge amount of promise in three 2yo sprints but is 2-2 in handicaps over an extended 1m this month, both wins gained from the front on soft ground; 2lb ahead of the handicapper under a 6lb penalty here but needs to prove he can do the business on a sounder surface.
11 Brave Archibald – Won two Polytrack nurseries last season, more recently off 4lb lower mark at Chelmsford (1m) when last in action six months ago; that form is significantly better than anything he achieved in turf maidens but there’s still hope his improvement can be transferred to this surface,
12 Bukle – Came from off the pace to cause 20/1 surprise in Salisbury nursery (7f, soft) in September but disappointed when upped to 1m at Ffos Las later that month and hasn’t been seen since; no surprise if he gets back on track this season but he seems to prefer some ease underfoot.
13 The King’s Steed – Failed to build on quite 2yo encouraging debut when down the field on second outing but made satisfactory return from a break when keeping-on sixth at Lingfield (7f, AW) this month and has quite a bit of potential to progress now back up to 1m for handicap debut.
myracing Forecast Prices: 7/2 Medburn Dream, The King’s Steed, 7/1 Cape Banjo, 10/1 Motdaw, Lord Huntingdon, Brave Archibald, 12/1 Peter Park, 14/1 Jazzy, 16/1 Torment, Art Echo, Glance My Way, Knight Commander, Buckle