IN SUMMARY: Only the four runners, but a tight contest is predicted with all boasting strong claims for this race. MORNINGTON is our tip to come out on top, having improved for each of his four starts so far. He broke his duck on his seasonal reappearance 16 days ago and an eight pound rise shouldn’t be enough to stop him with the step up in trip set to unlock further improvement. His main danger will be Sellingallthetime, who comes here off a narrow defeat at Catterick in similar conditions. Up three pounds in the handicap for that run, he is still ten pounds lower than last summer and if building on that run will have strong claims.
1 Mornington – Gelded after a disappointing debut, he has been steadily on his upgrade on his three runs since. He ran well twice in defeat at Lingfield at the end of last year before getting off the mark just over two weeks ago when switched back to turf at Brighton on Good to Firm. Today’s step up in trip should bring about more improvement and the way he won last time out suggests an eight pound rise won’t be enough to stop him here with more to come.
2 Plymouth Sound – Five year old who boasts just one win from his 17 starts so far, but he has shown he stays at least this far with a second and third place over further. He has run well fresh on multiple occasions so could overcome the near six month break here, but he is largely inconsistent and struggled on his final two runs of last season, albeit it Class 2 company in November. He will provide a useful yard stick with the visor potentially bringing out more improvement but is vulnerable to horses with more potential improvement.
3 Sunny Future – This eleven year old has been a fine servant for his owner-trainer Malcolm Saunders, recording eleven wins and twenty places from his 68 starts so far. Two of those wins have coem within the last four starts, including last time out at this course in September over two miles, one furlong. His win prior to that was over one mile, four furlongs, showing his versatility distance wise, but he hasn’t won over a trip this short since May 2010. With a three pound rise in the handicap, he is now back at the highest mark he has ever won off, and unless they go a fierce pace he will find things happening too quickly here.
4 Sellingallthetime – Beaten a neck when second on return from a break over a similar trip at Catterick last month, that was a bounce back to the form he showed last year when rated as much as ten pounds above his current mark of 73. He hasn’t won since October 2015 and has generally run poorly in defeat, and remains a risky proposition, even off this lower mark.