IN SUMMARY: Gold Flash emerged from a spell in the doldrums and was a close second over C&D on his debut for Keith Dalgleish on Sunday. He has an obvious chance to go one better off the same mark today but the nagging concern is that his 2015 campaign for Ralph Beckett quickly went off the rails after a very promising seasonal reappearance. Preference is for ART OBSESSION (5/1), who probably wasn’t ideally suited by the combination of 6f and heavy ground on his debut for Paul Midgley at Ripon a fortnight ago but didn’t run badly there, remains on a workable mark and was a C&D winner in 2014. Last year’s winner Ralphy Boy also deserves a mention but he lacks a recent run this time and has very little margin for error off his current mark.
1 Swift Approval – Won his maiden over C&D as a 2yo and signed off in 2015 when a decent effort back here in September; won’t mind if the ground eases but seems to lack a turn of foot and usually finds the winning line coming too soon; sports first-time cheekpieces; others preferred for win purposes.
2 Art Obsession – Scored over C&D (good to firm) for David Barron in 2014; left that yard after finishing down the field twice in September but made fairly encouraging seasonal/stable debut at Ripon (6f, heavy) this month and is on a workable mark if able to build on that performance; could be the answer.
3 Ralphy Boy – Gamely won this race in 2015 and the last of his three victories last year was also gained over C&D; can make his presence felt but returns from 195-day absence on fairly tough mark, so will need to be in peak form to have any chance of winning.
4 Luis Vaz De Torres – Better known as a sprinter on the AW nowadays and has disappointed with cheekpieces fitted on his two starts in that sphere this spring; now 1lb below his last winning mark and does have some form on turf but has quite a bit to prove, including stamina; no headgear today.
5 In Focus – Won twice in 2015, more recently when making all at Carlisle (7f, good to soft) in September; may not have handled Fibresand when last of six on seasonal debut 17 days ago but could need some help from the handicapper before he hits the target again.
6 Gold Flash – Quickly lost his way after pleasing seasonal debut for Ralph Beckett in 2015 but bounced back to form when close second over C&D in first-time cheekpieces on seasonal/stable debut on Sunday; has obvious claims off the same mark today, assuming current campaign doesn’t go the same way as last year’s.
7 Sovereign Buddy – Came good with narrow success at Beverley (7.5f, good to firm) last May, his second handicap, but has been absent since two lesser efforts during the summer; still quite lightly raced but returns to action with a point to prove.
myracing Forecast Prices: 15/8 Gold Flash, 9/2 Swift Approval, Art Obsession, 6/1 Ralphy Boy, 8/1 Sovereign Buddy, 10/1 Luis Vaz De Torres, In Focus