An ultra competitive 19 runner handicap for our race preview to cover, with 2014’s winning trainer Paul Midgley entering 3 horses to consider for our betting tips.
Our tip for the race is Brother Tiger – one of the older horses in the race but relatively lightly raced through the years with 6 wins from 23 starts. Well beaten last start when he was rushed up to take the lead and faded late on, his form before that had been very solid including a win and a second at Chelmsford. He’s unexposed on turf with just 8 starts, finishing a close up 11th at Doncaster off 5lb lower in September. He’s been dropped a pound for his defeat last time out but if he can transfer his form from his Chelmsford runs in February and March to turf then he looks well handicapped and could kick start a slow season so far for trainer David Griffiths (record at Newmarket 3 winners from 9 runners).
At the risk of going back to the well once too often, fans of the extremely frustrating Bogart will still be hopeful that there is another win in him despite so many below par efforts in recent races. Now a seven-year-old, he was rated as highly as 112 in his glory day of 2012 (which seems a life time ago), and is also a course and distance winner. He ran a solid second here back in May providing a glimmer of hope, but hasn’t repeated that in two races since. He remains very well handicapped but infuriatingly unlikely to win and thus remains one to avoid for now.
With the David O’Meara yard hitting some decent form at last it may be worth a second look at Lathom who is being ridden by Daniel Tudhope who has a good strikerate at this track. His form this season may not look very good via the figures but he was less than three lengths behind Sign Of The Kodiac in a better race and as he has been put down a couple of pounds he is looking increasingly well handicapped. He was rated 99 following his Weatherbys Super Sprint win at Newbury in July 2015 and was far from disgraced in Group 3 company at Goodwood but now runs off just 92 following some poor efforts in valuable races and this is the easiest contest he’s been entered into since his debut.
It’s no secret that Bryan Smart has a decent reputation with his handicap sprinters and he allows the interesting Alpha Delphini to take his place after a win at Musselburgh and a third at Pontefract to his name already this season. Connor Beasley rides again off exactly the same handicap mark as last time out, and as he wasn’t too far away the day who is to say he cannot repeat that effort this afternoon and sneak his way in to the frame. He’s been generally progressive through his short career so far and as a half brother to Tangerine Trees there could well be more to come especially over this trip.
Looking for interesting outsiders, and Captain Colby fits the bill having won two of his last three races including his only start last season, beating Steve Prescott despite giving him weight. As the runner up was last seen off a mark of 93 it seems safe to say that a mark for Captain Colby (he runs off 93 here) could yet be on the generous side, but his last time out run needs to be forgiven when he finished last of 13 after going off too keenly on the All Weather at Newcastle. He’s very lightly raced but has obviously had problems, being swapped from Kevin Ryan’s stable to Ed Walker during his year off, and he’ll need to have come on hugely for his run 13 days ago to win this.