A field of 9 go to post in this Class 4 handicap raced over 1m. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: SALUTI struggled a little when pitched in with older horses last time out, the step back into his own age group can reap dividends. He looks like a mile could allow him to progress further and with the assistance of Jim Crowley in the plate, he is the way to go. Mudallel was very impressive last time out at this track, an eight pound rise shouldn’t be enough to stop him getting into the frame once more. Sterling Silva may benefit from the first time cheekpieces if this first go on an artificial surface is to his liking.
1 SALUTI – Won his first handicap last month (well-supported 9/4 joint-favourite) scoring by a neck in-front of a useful enough sort. He went backwards in an all-age handicap subsequently at Sandown so should enjoy being back against his own age group. He looks as if a mile could be the making of him and with Jim Crowley keeping the partnership intact, he looks the one to side with here.
2 BADENSCOTH – Finished 4-lenghts behind the progressive Wealth Tax at Nottingham last time out and the switch to the All-Weather is a positive today. He’s won twice on the sand including over C&D and a mark of 82 looks reasonable for Dean Ivory’s runner. Jack Duern continues to claim 3lbs off his back and he should go well although stall 8 is less than ideal. Market support would be significant.
3 ESPRIT DE CORPS – Sole success came in a Bath maiden earlier this season and he’s not progressed as quickly as expected this season. He posted an excellent effort to finish second of 14 in an open Class 4 handicap at Ascot but he couldn’t follow up at Newmarket subsequently. He’s dropped in grade today and there are clearly victories to be had with him although stall 9 presents his jockey with some tricky questions early on. May be worth opposing again today.
4 MUDALLEL – Absolutely hacked up in a Class 5 event over C&D a fortnight ago to win by a commanding 3 3/4 lengths. He’s been raised 8lbs for that effort which will ask more of him here and the step up in grade will require him to improve to complete the double. James Doyle remains in the saddle and there’s plenty more to come from him on just his third start following a gelding operation.
5 QUEENSBRYDGE – Sole success came in a Class 2 event at Chelmsford last August and she’s not been as good this season having not made her reappearance until the summer. She’s down another 2lbs in the weights today which will help and this track does suit although she didn’t produce her best when raced over a mile at Goodwood. Best watched in this although market support would be significant.
6 HIGH ON LOVE – Seeks her first win in handicap company having broken her maiden tag early last season over 6 furlongs at Windsor. She’s been tried at a mile on both of her starts as a 3yo and her latest effort was an improvement on her first attempt over the trip. She should come on again today although she’s up another pound in the weights and may bump into one or two better treated rivals.
7 STERLING SILVA – Made a positive start to his 3yo campaign with a second place effort at Newmarket in Class 4 company. He’s gone backwards since with some comfortable defeats including a 12-length defeat at Haydock most recently to finish last of 6. He’s down 3lbs in the weights today and the cheekpieces go on for the first time but he needs this run to prove he’s going to be capable of improvement. He makes his debut on the All-Weather today.
8 VENTURA BLUES – Second runner in this for Richard Hannon and his Bated Breath filly seeks her first handicap success. She completed a double in novice company last season over 6 furlongs and she’s been steadily raised in trip as a 3yo this season. She was comfortably held off just 2lbs higher last time out and she doesn’t look to be particularly well-treated today. Rossa Ryan does claim a valuable 7lbs off her back which could see her show improvement today.
9 UNDER CONTROL – Interesting sort for the William Haggas stable making his first start as a 3yo. He won a maiden at Musselburgh in September of last year before landing a Class 5 handicap over a mile in the same month off a mark of 70. That form doesn’t look particularly strong and a 6lb higher mark will give him something to answer here. However, there should be more improvement to come from him on just his fourth career start for a stable operating at a 19% strike rate at present. The market will guide best though.