A field of eight go to post in what should be a close run handicap over the mile and a quarter. See our betting tips and full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: It looks to be all about PRIORS BROOK who has a 100% win record here after two starts. He looked in good form last time out at Chelmsford and can get back to winning ways this afternoon under young Joshua Bryan who is good value for his five pound claim. Seven Clans could well be his biggest danger, even after a rise in the weights.
1 PRIORS BROOK – Four wins from 20 starts for Andrew Balding’s top weight and a two out of two record here at Chepstow after winning over course and distance at the end of June on rattling fast ground. One race since saw a third on the Chelmsford all-weather when three-and-a-quarter lengths adrift of winner Graceful James. However, that wasn’t a bad effort and he should run well again this afternoon at a track he loves, with young Joshua Bryan claiming five pounds to increase his chances.
2 SPARTE QUERCUS – Lightly raced with just the six starts for Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop, with a solitary maiden win over a mile and a half at Doncaster in July and a respectable third here at Chepstow over the same distance last time out. As a son of Canford Cliffs, he ought to have the speed for this trip but he has found others too fast for him in the past. He therefore might have to settle for the minor placings here, even if he will be running on late through beaten horses.
3 GLORIOUS POET – John Spearing’s four-year-old gelding has been dropped two pounds for his last run when he finished a below-expectations sixth of nine to Essenaitch at Windsor on good to soft going. His last, and only, win at Redcar in a seven furlong maiden came on soft ground in October when trained by Ed Walker. Based on that evidence, he won’t mind any further rain, however he looks up against it in this field. The yard is showing 0% from four runners in the last two weeks, a statistic that can surely only decrease his chances.
4 SEVEN CLANS – Arrives here at the very top of his game following his second win of the season last time out at Newmarket over this trip when seeing off Duchy by a short head after a typical last-minute effort from Jamie Spencer. Adam Kirby (who rode him to victory at Wolverhampton in January) rides today and may not employ exaggerated waiting tactics on the son of Cape Cross. A three pound rise in the weight still seems to leave him with every chance of a follow-up victory.
5 PEAK HILL – An intriguing entry here by trainer Adrian Wintle as the ex-David Evans trained gelding has his first run for his new connections after almost 13 months off the track. He was last seen finishing last of 11 over six furlongs at Windsor and has never tried further than seven and a half furlongs in a 12 race career that includes a win at Ffos Las. He has a lot to prove for now and may be best watched after his long absence.
6 ROWLESTONERENDEZVU – The Tony Carroll stable are ticking over with a 9% strike rate recently and this daughter of Rail Link has already won this season at Ffos Las over a mile and a half and finished second to Kerrera at Newmarket. That said, last time out saw a disappointing sixth of seven, 20 lengths behind winner Camerone at Bath. Dropped two pounds by the handicapper, she needs to get back to her best here to have any chance. Given that she seems to be better over further she may well find a few of these too quick for her over this trip.
7 CRY FURY – Although he hasn’t been seen on the flat since September 2016, he will be as fit as any here after a seventh of ten at Worcester in a handicap chase over two and a half miles and there will be questions over whether he will now have the pace to cope with some of these at this trip. He has won over this trip at Goodwood, but that was back in 2011 when trained by Roger Charlton, and at the age of nine he seems unlikely to suddenly find his old speed again here.
8 ANGELICAL – Top four places in each of his last seven races, including a win at Leicester over this trip in April. However, despite coming fourth in his last outing, he was beaten nine-and-three-quarter lengths at the line and has a bit to find today off just a single pound lower. Trainer Daniel Mark Loughnane has not had a winner from seven runners in the last two weeks, which has to be a negative, and jockey Kieran O’Neill is on a lowly 5% leaving others looking much more attractive in this field.