This is a competitive Class 2 handicap raced over a mile, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a wide open handicap and the vote goes to CENTURY DREAM. Simon Crisford’s runner is the only 3yo in the field and he gets a handy weight-for-age allowance which puts him on good terms with his rivals. He looks more than up to this grade and should take all the beating. Sophie P’s Listed effort entitles her to get competitive whilst there shouldn’t be much between King’s Pavilion and Carnageo again today.
1 SOPHIE P – Finished half-a-length behind Nicholas T when the pair met over C&D last time out and she’s worse off on today’s terms. She has shown some good form of late including a second-place effort in a 5-runner Listed event and she should go well again although she’s up another pound today and this is more competitive. It could pay to take her on for a yard that are without a winner from their last 12 runners.
2 HIBOU – Arrives here on the back of an excellent victory at Hamilton in early June, running down Masham Star to win by just over a length. That rival went on to run a fine race at Newmarket on Saturday and it’s no surprise to see him race off 6lbs higher today. The switch to better ground will certainly aide him and whilst this is a career high mark, there was a lot to like about the nature of his success last time out.
3 ZWAYYAN (Non-runner) – Lightly-raced son of Pivotal making just his third start as a 4yo today. He’s another to arrive here on the back of a success and he has also been put up 6lbs in the weights although he only just won, staying on late to score by a head. He’s versatile in terms of ground and there should be more to come from him although he’s back up in grade and he has struggled in a couple of Class 2 handicaps previously. The yard are in flying form with a 35% strike rate in the past fortnight.
4 JUST HISS – Ran a mighty race off this mark on Saturday to finish fourth of fourteen in an ultra-competitive York handicap. He was ridden close to the pace and just flattened out having maybe gone a fraction too quick early on. To his credit he rallied again and a mark of 91 is certainly workable on that evidence. This would be a quick turnaround although he’s sure to go up in the weights again soon.
5 NICHOLAS T – Has the beating of Sophie P based on their clash at Ayr in June but he faltered under a 3lb rise at Hamilton last time out, finishing 7 3/4 lengths behind Hibou. He didn’t quicken from off the pace as he normally does and the Soft ground may have just caught him out so a return to a better surface will be right up his street today. The yard have failed to send out a winner from their last 30 runners though.
6 INSTANT ATTRACTION – Without a win from 13 starts on this ground and connections will be praying for rain to arrive. He’s shown a fraction of his old form this season with some comfortable defeats and he’s stepped back up in grade today off a 2lb lower mark. He’s chasing his first win since June 2015 and others make more appeal on today’s terms.
7 KING’S PAVILION – Finished half-a-length behind Carnageo when the pair met at Carlisle last time out. He’s one pound better off with him today so he is entitled to be right there again although he’s another that may just prefer a slight ease in the ground. He remains on a workable mark following a 3lb hike in the weights and another big run is expected from David Barron’s runner if he can get a clear passage.
8 AL KHAN – Remains 3lbs higher than his last winning mark and he’s been unable to show the same form on turf as he has on the All-Weather lately. He was beaten 12 lengths at Chester in a claimer at the end of June and he’s stepped up in trip to a mile today which is a concern given he’s without a success at this distance in seven attempts. He needs to fall further in the weights and is best opposed in this with some better weighted rivals in opposition.
9 TRUTH OR DARE – James Bethell’s gelding has been a frustrating sort and he seeks his first victory since August 2013. He has put a couple of excellent efforts together on the last two occasions with placed efforts in Class 3 company but he’s up 3lbs as a result and he has a habit of finding one too good. He’s back up in grade today and others make more appeal for win purposes although he could hit the frame again.
10 ZABEEL PRINCE – Lightly-raced 4yo who makes just his third career start today. He made a good impression at Nottingham last month when bounding clear to win by 3 lengths in a Class 5 maiden. He’s been allotted an opening mark of 86 which looks tough enough on the back of just two runs but he did things ever so easily last time out. There’s obviously more to come from him although he clearly likes it Soft and wouldn’t want it to dry out too much. Worth plenty of respect today.
11 CARNAGEO – Landed an ultra-competitive handicap at Carlisle at the end of last month in first-time blinkers. He’s been raised 4lbs for that effort which looks more than fair and that leaves him off a career high mark in Class 2 company for the first time. There are obvious angles for opposing him in this but conditions should be in his favour again and he should have a good pace to aim at in this so he would be dangerous to rule out.
12 CENTURY DREAM – Another lightly-raced sort and Simon Crisford’s 3yo is technically well-in with his rivals based on his weight-for-age allowance. He beat some fairly useful types in a Class 3 Doncaster handicap last time out and he looks to be improving at a rate of knots. He has been raised 6lbs for his latest success but that is negated here on these terms and there’s evidently much more to come from him so he deserves plenty of respect taking on his elders today.
13 MOONLIGHTNAVIGATOR – Has produced some mixed performances this season and John Quinn’s runner is dropped 2lbs in the weights following a heavy defeat behind Just Hiss at York earlier this month. He was only beaten a couple of lengths by G K Chesterton off a 4lb higher mark at Newmarket back in May so he’s hard to rule out and he remains just one pound higher than his last winning mark so he’s dangerous to write off entirely.
14 TESTA ROSSA – Jim Goldie’s runner is without a win on this ground from 12 starts and he races for a yard without a winner from their last 30 runners. He has been banging at the door of late with a couple of placed efforts but this is a career high mark and with conditions not in his favour, it may pay to take him on in this. Best watched today.