An interesting 7f handicap in which 9 talented animals are set to turn out to compete for the £9,000 of prize-money on offer. Read on for our betting tips and full race preview.
IN SUMMARY: Ionization is entitled to respect as a lightly-raced performer who should do better for a recent run, but preference is for the Jim Goldie trained TOMMY G. The 4-year-old shaped well on his return to action at Redcar (6f) a few weeks ago and given his maiden form over 7f at Doncaster last April, it’s likely that he can do even better at this longer trip in handicap company. Glengarry is another who is very easy to make claims for but could well come on for what will be his first run since September.
1 IONIZATION – Lightly raced 4-year-old filly who has only had 7 starts to date and could be open to some improvement. She disappointed on seasonal reappearance a few weeks ago at Musselburgh (7f, Good-to-Firm) but might have needed that having been off since winning at Chester (7.5f, Good) in July. This race is easier and represents a drop in grade, so there are reasons in place to expect better. She’s on the shortlist.
2 GLENGARRY- Only made his debut in May having presumably taken a bit of time to come to hand but after three decent maiden runs, he bolted up on handicap debut at Musselburgh (7f, Good-to-Firm) and ran every bit as well on contrasting ground at Carlisle (7f, Good-to-Soft) under a penalty a week later. He ran poorly over this C&D in a good race at the Western meeting but looked to be amiss and has since been gelded. Whether connections will have him fully fit for this return to action is debatable but he is interesting.
3 DRAGON KING – Best known as a sprinter with all bar one of his career starts coming at 5f or 6f and how the 5-year-old will react to running over this far is an unknown. He flopped heavily at Ripon (6f, Good-to-Firm) less than three weeks ago when debuting for Iain Jardine and definitely has something to find with regard to well-being. A first-time hood might help him to settle down but he can’t be backed with any confidence.
4 CHAPLIN BAY – Hold up performer who made a winning reappearance at Newcastle (7f, Std) last month and is worthy of respect on that form. He ran once since then, however, and was a tad disappointing in finishing mid-division over the mile at Redcar. It’s possible that his stamina doesn’t stretch out that far, with all of his wins coming over shorter, but this still does require a career-best performance. Opposable.
5 KINGSLEY KLARION – Arrives here with some mediocre form figures of 9-8-6-0 in 2017 so far but was only beaten a couple of lengths behind Chaplin Bay at Newcastle (7f, Std) and could have claims made for him on that effort. Reached a peak rating of 91 last season and has come down to 75 but seems more at home on artificial surfaces with 4 wins from 15 starts compared to 0 from 7 on turf. Given that he’s trained by Mark Johnston, it’s hard to rule him out for certain but it would be a surprise were he to go on and win.
6 CHARACTER ONESIE – Exposed 5-year-old who doesn’t find winning easy, with only 3 victories from 28 outings to the track, but he usually runs close to his mark and can’t be faulted from that point of view. Ran a very good race on his seasonal debut at Redcar (1m, Good-to-Firm) when fourth behind Torrid, only beaten a couple of lengths, but disappointed since and has got some big questions to answer back at this 7f distance. His sole win of 2016 came over 1m 1f at Yarmouth in August and a sterner test of stamina may suit ideally.
7 TOMMY G – Ran above his odds of 33/1 on seasonal return at Redcar (6f, Good) a few weeks ago and would be fully entitled to come on for that run fitness-wise. The interesting angle is the step up in trip to 7f as the 4-year-old hasn’t run over this far since his opening two runs in maiden company last year and they yielded fine third placed finishes. If he can step up on his sprinting efforts, then he’s capable of grabbing a place at worst and could be up to doing even better. He’s another for the shortlist.
8 REDVERS – Formerly very useful when trained by Ed Vaughan and won a valuable handicap at his beloved Ascot in 2013 off a mark of 95. Hasn’t got anywhere near his old powers in recent times and the handicapper has plummeted his mark all the way down to 73. That’s extremely workable on back form and Noel Wilson’s horses are in fine order at present, but it’s hard to expect a revival first time up (never won fresh but has gone well a couple of times) unless the betting suggests otherwise.
9 ROYAL DUCHESS – Lightly raced last year, only making it to the track on five occasions, but did manage to win a soft ground handicap over C&D in July (her fourth C&D win) and just 2lbs higher in the weights this time around. Entitled to respect given her record at the track but concedes fitness to some of these and is yet to win on fast ground. Probably needs conditions to ease and that doesn’t look too likely at present.