This is a Class 4 handicap raced over 6f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a decent handicap and Muscika sets a solid standard on the back of some good performances. His 3yo allowance leaves him on an attractive weight in this but it could pay to take him on with HIGHLY SPRUNG. Mark Johnston’s runner is now 10lbs below his last winning mark and the return to faster ground could see him come out on top today for a yard in good form of late.
1 SINGEUR – Rebecca Bastiman’s runner has been a good servant to his connections and he makes his 88th career start today. He’s won 10 times in his career but all of those victories have come over 5 furlongs so there are major doubts about his chance in this off top-weight in conditions he’s vulnerable in. He’s been comfortably held of late and it may pay to look elsewhere for win purposes.
2 ART OBSESSION – Has been raised 3lbs in the weights for a good success last time out at Doncaster. He got the better of a well-handicapped rival that day and the handicapper may have been kind to him with just a small rise in the weights. He’s edged up 7lbs in the weights in just three runs but he should run a big race again today in conditions that should be fine.
3 ZAPPER CLASS – The Tony Coyle yard has hit some form of late with three winners from their last 8 runners. His runner is tried in a first-time tongue tie today having been well-beaten at Hamilton last time out and he’s been nudged down 3lbs in the weights which looks fair. His sole career success on turf came on Soft ground which is a concern given the fast ground forecast and that may undo him in this.
4 MUSCIKA – Lightly-raced 3yo making his seventh career start. He’s won twice for David O’Meara this year and he wasn’t beaten all that far in a decent handicap at Ayr earlier this month. He’s been left on the same mark today and his 3yo allowance gives him plenty in-hand with his rivals so he’s likely to be popular with Daniel Tudhope retaining the ride. Respected.
5 DUKE COSIMO – Finished behind Art Obsession at Doncaster earlier this month and Muscika on his last start at Ayr. He’s been dropped a pound for his last run but that doesn’t look to give him much in-hand today although he is now 4lbs lower than his last winning mark which came in a better race than this last summer. Conditions are a slight unknown having never won on fast ground so the market may be the best guide today.
6 FUNDING DEFICIT – Struggled badly last time out at Newmarket having been raised to Class 2 company on the back of some poor runs. He’s only making his third start of the turf campaign so it would be unwise to think there’s not more to come from him and he’s another runner racing off lower than his last winning mark. Sean Mooney retakes the ride today and the market should guide best on the back of some disappointing runs this season. The yard have sent out just one winner from their last 35 runners.
7 HIGHLY SPRUNG – Dropped another 3lbs in the weights following an 8-length defeat at Hamilton last week. He may have struggled on the Good to Soft ground and the return to faster conditions should suit him far better today. He’s a full 10lbs lower than his last winning mark and this is the right grade for him so he would be unwise to rule out for a yard operating at a 20% strike rate at present.
8 STONE OF FOLCA – Lucinda Egerton’s runner has been off the racetrack since May 2015 which is a major concern coming into this. He was last seen finishing fifth of seven in a Class 5 Brighton handicap and his overall record of two wins from 30 runs for John Best is less than inspiring so he can only be watched in this. However, any money would be significant although it looks unlikely to arrive given his profile.
9 MONKS STAND – The second of two 3yo’s in this and Tim Easterby’s runner arrives here on the back of some mixed performances. He was beaten 14 1/2 lengths at Chester last time out but that followed a fair run in a Doncaster sprint so he can be tricky to predict. It would be no surprise to see him run a big race in this though for a yard with a 15% strike rate in the past fortnight although he’s a tricky horse to predict.