A field of useful handicappers go to post for the sixth race of the day at Thirsk on Wednesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Night Circus won the Wood Ditton at Newmarket and clearly wasn’t right when last seen at the same venue so needs to be treated with respect, but this can go to ORIGNIAL CHOICE. He was back to form when narrowly denied at Haydock on his latest start, clearly benefitting from the step up in trip and he remains with potential for better. William Haggas’ yard is in brilliant form, as is the rider Danny Tudhope so he should take all the beating off a mark of 86. Commander won a Doncaster maiden on his latest start and looks the main danger as he’s thoroughly unexposed.
1 NIGHT CIRCUS – Won the Wood Ditton at Newmarket on debut for Charlie Appleby before something was clearly amiss on his latest start in the Newmarket Stakes, tailed off after being heavily eased. Clearly capable of better but an opening mark of 93 does demand more from him, with that previous blow out meaning he should be treated with a degree of caution. The in form Martin Lane takes the ride and although conditions are to suit, he is risky.
2 THOMAS CRANMER – Front runner who tends to spit the dummy out if he doesn’t get a soft lead, winning in a small field race three starts ago at Musselburgh when allowed to dictate. He has been well beaten the twice in bigger fields when unable to dictate and he should be happier here with the prospect of a soft lead. That said, he comes up against some tough opposition and is still four pounds above his last winning mark, so he may just be settling for places in this.
3 MUTAHAADY – Finally back to form on his latest start at Redcar twelve days ago, leading towards the finish over the extended seven furlongs. Steps up in trip today which should suit, but the issue lies in the three-pound rise, as it should be enough to find him out in a better race for Karl Burke. He couldn’t be ruled out for the placings but others make more appeal this time around on previous form.
4 ORIGINAL CHOICE – Won on handicap debut at Wolverhampton in April and although he was well beaten at Ascot on the start that followed, he was back to form when last seen at Haydock. He was beaten a head in second, coming home strongly and he’s only up three pounds as a result. He may well have more to offer for William Haggas and a return to better ground shouldn’t be a problem. Danny Tudhope takes the ride and he looks set for a big run.
5 ANDOK – Showed abundant promise as a two year old for Richard Fahey but he’s made a slow start to 2017 and does have something to prove on that basis. He was midfield on his Newmarket return but failed to build on that when last at Newbury in the London Gold Cup and although this is easier, he’s still risky. He is likely to have more to offer at some stage but others make more appeal on this occasion.
6 COMMANDER – Broke his maiden at the third attempt when taking a race at Doncaster and he starts off in handicaps off a mark of 85. He likely has more to offer now placed into this sphere and this 670,000gns purchase has the pedigree to kick on to better things in time for Roger Varian. Silvestre De Sousa takes the ride and he looks set to go close with conditions to suit.
7 ITSAKINDOFMAGIC – Son of Mount Nelson who has not improved since switching to handicaps the last twice and needs to improve in a competitive race if he’s to feature. He had an awkward head carriage when only fifth at Chester in June and although the step back up in trip should suit, you would have to question is resolution to the job at hand. Trainer and jockey are both in form but he’s likely to be settling for a minor role only.