A field of twelve go to post for the penultimate race of the day at Haydock on Friday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Considering the manner in which HIGH ON LIGHT dismantled her rivals from the front at Haydock on her latest start on her first attempt at this distance, a four pound rise looks far too lenient. Takbeer was making vein pursuit in second and David Barron’s filly should confirm those placings with conditions perfect for her under Richard Kingscote. Always Resolute won this in 2015 and returned this year with a good run, so should be on the premises.
1 INTENSE TANGO – Course and distance winner for Karl Burke who is now eleven pounds below her last winning mark, but she’s been well below her best this season and needs to bounce back. She was last seen finishing fifth at Newmarket and although she wasn’t beaten far, she never looked likely to land a blow. Clifford Lee takes off three pounds but she is of little appeal in her current mood.
2 HIGH ON LIGHT – Four year old who had been threatening to win several times this season before taking a very comfortable victory over course and distance on her latest start. She made all in great style and had something in hand that day, which makes the four pound rise look very lenient. Conditions are similar which is another big plus and with Rachel Richardson retaining the ride, she looks very tough to beat.
3 ALWAYS RESOLUTE – Won this race in 2015 for Brian Ellison and he made a promising return from a nine month absence when fourth at Carlisle in August. He was beaten a fair way but he clearly needed the run and he’s now only three pounds above his last winning mark. He’s placed off higher in the past so this mark is definitely in range and he has each way claims if building on that run, with the cut in the ground fine.
4 TAKBEER – Won his penultimate start at Newbury in July when causing a 50/1 shock but he was dismissed with contempt by High On Light when they met over course and distance a month ago. A turnaround with that rival looks very unlikely but that said, he does hold solid each way claims if continuing in this good vein of form for Nikki Evans. He is fine with cut in the ground and has to be considered.
5 MONACO ROSE – In good form earlier this year for Richard Fahey but her form has started to dip and she needs something more to gain a third career victory. She looked very laboured when only fifth at Wolverhampton on her latest start, keeping on at the one pace throughout and although a return to the turf should help, she’s still three pounds above her last winning mark. Softer ground is fine and at her best she’s an each way contender, but she remains vulnerable for win purposes as she’s hard to predict.
6 HAWRIDGE FLYER – Placed in his first maidens for Stuart Kittow, not needing to improve to win a very weak contest at Ffos Las on his latest start. He was allowed to set a very slow gallop that day and when asked for an effort he hung left inside the final furlong, which is concerning to note. He won’t be getting a soft lead on this occasion and although a mark of 79 is far on handicap debut, he does have to prove. He has each way claims if he can avoid hanging, but others look more likely for win purposes.
7 FULHAM – Showed promise on debut at Wolverhampton in February for Robyn Brisland before breaking his maiden in a very ordinary contest at the same venue two weeks later. He’s been off now for 195 days so he has his fitness to prove on handicap debut, with an opening mark of 77 demanding further progress in a good looking race for the grade. Possible each way claims as he’s unexposed but he has plenty to prove.
8 NORMANDIE ATTACK – Improved markedly with every maiden run for Charlie Fellows before posting a career best when a close fourth in a two mile handicap at Kempton when last seen. He weakened in the final furlong that day so a drop back to 1m 6f looks sure to suit. He remains completely unexposed and looks a big each way threat under Stevie Donohoe.
9 FORESEE – Well beaten on all of his starts for the Tony Carroll yard, last seen at Ripon when floundering in fifth over the 1m 4f distance. Confidence is at an all time low at present and he’s clearly not at heart with himself, so he’s impossible to fancy under Graham Lee.
10 ASTUTE BOY – Progressing well for Ed Vaughan at present, gaining his first victory when winning a Maiden Handicap at Yarmouth. This now demands further progress up five pounds into a much tougher race but he should enjoy this step up in trip and further improvement couldn’t be discounted. He’s an each way player with the yard in the winners and he’ll handle the ground conditions.
11 INCUS – Three time winner who made all at Ffos Las on his latest start for Ed de Giles, keeping on well and unchallenged once kicking clear. He’s been six pounds higher now but he has to remain on the shortlist as he trounced that field despite being keen early on. He does need to improve again upped in class and he won’t have things his own way out in front, but he needs consideration.
12 NORDIC COMBINED – Finished a great second three starts ago behind a runner who was well handicapped, but he’s been well beaten in two runs subsequently and confidence cannot be high at present. He’s still way above his last winning mark and with such an inconsistent profile, he remains opposable for Brian Ellison.