This is a very open Class 4 contest over 6 furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a wide open affair and Dean Ivory’s Varsovian is expected go well again in his bid to complete a double but it’s MAKE MUSIC who appeals most. Given a strong pace she is taken to improve her impressive record at the track to four wins from six starts.
1 STAINTONDALE LASS – Makes her second start today following a seasonal break and will need to improve from her last run. She was very well beaten at Kempton over 7 furlongs but the step back down in trip shouldn’t be an issue given she’s also won over this trip in the past. She’s notched down 1lb which sees her drop into Class 3 company which should make life easier but she needs to improve from last season to be competitive here.
2 MAKE MUSIC – Nice Acclamation filly for Andrew Balding who’s been in good heart this year recording a victory here in January. She’s got a lovely draw in stall 1 today and David Probert is on-board again having won on her previously and she certainly comes with a chance here. She’s 3lbs higher than her last winning mark so she’ll need a bit more but a strong early pace will aid her claims.
3 SEAMSTER – Joint-oldest horse in the field and had an incredibly long campaign last year which included a host of victories and placed efforts. He ran a lovely race last time out to get within a length and a quarter of the progressive Verne Castle and that’s a good piece of form to his name. The handicapper probably has him where he wants him now he races off a career high mark and others make a little more appeal at the weights.
4 FOXY FOREVER – Michael Wigham has the best course record of today’s trainers (20%) but his runner here has a horrific draw in stall 10. He’s gone close this winter although hasn’t managed to get his head in front where it matters and the handicapper puts him back up to 81 today. He’s now without a win since June 2015 and the extra furlong doesn’t look as if it’s likely to bring about much improvement. He’s opposed today on the back of that and his very poor gate position although he’d be dangerous if he could recapture some old form.
5 PLUCKY DIP – Another runner here who looks slightly high in the weights and like Foxy Forever, has gone a long time without winning. This is only his fourth start in Class 4 company in the past year and he’s not without a chance under Josephine Gordon having run a good race over 6 furlongs at Kempton last time out. He looks vulnerable to one or two possibly better handicapped rivals but could be a threat if he can get a good trip. Stall 8 isn’t ideal though and there may be better value elsewhere.
6 SWISS CROSS – C&D winner with a success off just 1lb lower here in December. He’s been tried over 7 furlongs since then and hasn’t been able to get competitive off higher marks but he obviously enjoys it around here with four successes in these conditions although he has the worst draw in the race in stall 11. The yard have been badly out of form in the last 14 days (1 win from 15 attempts) and he’s best avoided today on the back of that with this draw.
7 VARSOVIAN – Arrives here on the back of a win over C&D back in February. He relishes this trip having also completed a hat-trick over 6 furlongs back in 2015 and he should improve again now on his second start of the season. Connections obviously felt he had a good chance on his last run when he was backed into 7/4 favouritism and they may have had their eyes on the double. He has been raised 5lbs for that success and he steps up in grade here but his old form definitely gives him a chance and he should make another bold bid from a great draw.
8 BUCCANEERS VAULT – Paul Midgley’s runner hasn’t won in five attempts on the All-Weather but he did place off just 1lb lower over 6 furlongs at Newcastle this winter. He has a lovely draw in stall 3 today but his record doesn’t do much to inspire confidence and he is best watched today for a jockey without a win in his last 22 rides.
9 SALVATORE FURY – Nine runs without victory and scraped home off a mark of 70 to win at Hamilton last August. He has begun to climb down the weights since then but is still 7lbs higher than his last winning mark although he did place over this C&D off 3lbs higher. He’s been on the go all winter and he’s unlikely to find much for improvement but he’s a decent type on his day and isn’t a forlorn hope.
10 ROSEALEE – Relatively unexposed filly for Jeremy Gask who’s won 4 of her 16 starts to date. She has looked just slightly better over the minimum trip having recorded three of her wins over the minimum distance although she did win over 6 at Wolverhampton. She’s another that did well to get close to Verne Castle on her last start but she doesn’t make too much appeal off a mark of 76 today. Her mark looks workable but she may need to drop another 2 or 3lbs to look well in at the weights and is respected but avoided here.
11 BERTIE BLU BOY (non runner) – Lisa Williamson has a 17% strike rate in the last 14 days and she has the bottom weight in this. He’s come down a fair way in the weights since last year (11lbs at his highest) and although he’s without a win since June 2015 he showed signs of a resurgence on his last start when second over C&D. This is going to demand more now he’s back up in class but he’s certainly not without a chance here and has to be respected from an okay draw.