Two runs so far of this sprint handicap for fillies and mares with one odds on shot in 2015 and a 5/1 winner for Robert Cowell last season in the shape of Southern Belle. With a small field competition for the £5175 first prize it makes sense to look at the whole race horse by horse so read on for our race preview and selection ahead of the 6.35pm at Nottingham tonight.
IN SUMMARY: Jule In The Crown and Magical Dreamer seem sure to prove popular here but they may have to play second fiddle to GUISHAN (Each Way) here who is well handicapped on her best form and likes it at Nottingham which is an added bonus. Alistair Rawlinson rides and knows the horse well having ridden him on ten other occasions and the pairing can come home in front for us this evening.
1 GUISHAN – Top weight for trainer Michael Appleby who is an expert in this sort of handicap and will know exactly what is needed here. The seven-year-old has now won two of her eight visits to this track, including over course and distance in August 2014, and seems equally at home on any surface. She has won off this rating in June 2016 and is back to a winning mark now, and if there is a surprise this evening, she could be the one to provide it, making her value for money, each way material.
2 CURIOUS FOX – Two wins and a second from her last three outings is all the evidence anyone needs to prove the daughter of Bertolini is in great form, with a length and three-quarters defeat of Cool Bahamian carrying a big weight in this class at Newmarket last time out. She has been put up another five pounds for that success with jockey David Probert reporting afterwards that “That was a good performance from Curious Fox off top weight against the three-year-olds and she handled the ground well”, and if she gets plenty of cut in the ground again this evening she arrives here with every chance with the same jockey reunited in the saddle.
3 JULE IN THE CROWN – Lilley to go off favourite this evening after scoring last time out at Newbury on her first run for Richard Hannon after leaving the Mick Channon stable for pastures new. Thought of as a possible Royal Ascot filly last year by her old connections, she has failed to live up to those lofty expectations but was value for a bit more than the official neck margin after finishing fast and late last time out, and off a mark just four pounds higher here, she ought to get involved in the mix for a stable hitting a 17% strike rate in the last two weeks, and a level stakes profit of 24.55 points over the same period.
4 HACKNEY ROAD – One win and three good places from just the four starts this season, the last three of them for trainer John Butler after leaving the Henry Spiller stable. A victory at Kempton on the all-weather was followed by a decent enough half-length second to Maakaasib at the same track off the same rating, and she needs to show she can reproduce that on the turf this evening off a four-pound higher mark. Her stable are one from ten recently for a 10% strike rate and the daughter of Aqlaam does have a third at Yarmouth to her name, but others appeal fractionally more on this surface in this field.
5 MAGICAL DREAMER – Three-year-olds have won both renewals of this race so far and James Fanshawe’s daughter of Acclamation is the first of three representing that age group today. The Newmarket yard are going well with three winners in the last fourteen days and the filly has won already this season at Leicester in a first-time hood but failed to follow up last time out when fourth of six to Cartographer at Newmarket in this class off her new mark after being put up six pounds. She does seem to be a character and was flashing her tail late on that day, but clearly heads the shortlist of the younger generation and ought to go well if in one of her better frames of mind.
6 TILLY TROTTER – Formerly trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, the daughter of Kodiac won her maiden at Dundalk on the all-weather and has also taken a minor event over five furlongs at the same track, but is yet to win on turf after five attempts. Now in the hands of Declan Carroll, she has had two runs since her move with a fifth of eight at Pontefract and a tenth of twelve at Newmarket, both in Class Three events, so she is dropping in class today. Dropped another four pounds for her last below par effort, she is heading toward a mark she should be able to win from, but even though the yard have had three winners from their last nineteen runners (16%), she has a little to prove at present and is hard to recommend.
7 DEALER’S CHOICE – A first-time visor this evening for Roger Varian’s filly who has won once this season at Lingfield when taking her maiden by a very easy eight lengths from Malcolm The Pug in first-time cheekpieces. One run since saw her finish a weakening five and three-quarter lengths fifth of seven at Carlisle over this trip, and as she had no obvious excuse that day, she seems to have a plenty to find. She has been dropped two pounds by the handicapper and her stable are in good form (seven winners in the last two week), and if the new headgear has a positive effect she may well get involved in the finish.