Our race preview takes a look at a tricky handicap at Leicester, see our betting tips below to uncover a potential improver for powerful connections.
IN SUMMARY: Reputation has been unlucky in recent times and is probably building up to a big run and Classic Pursuit is 3lb lower than when very close to taking the victory. However, TANASOQ is very lightly raced and got off the mark at the 4th attempt when winning at Salisbury over this distance. This Hamdam Al Maktoum colt has a fantastic pedigree and was bought for the massive cost of 180,000gns, so surely there must be more to come.
1 BALLYMORE CASTLE – Nowhere near good enough when way down the order in the Stewards Cup Consolation at Goodwood (6f, Good to Firm), but has been slowly coming down the weights and when very close at Yarmouth on penultimate start off top weight (6f, Good to Firm). If managing to turn his form around to that run he will be a danger, but he has never won a handicap.
2 EXPLAIN – Moderate form in his last two starts, latest when an okay 3rd at Haydock (6f, Good to Firm). Hard to recommend as a lot of these seem to be coming to the boil, so he needs to step up his game to notch victory number 4.
3 REPUTATION – Very unlucky on his last 2 starts, latest when a staying on 3rd at Goodwood in the Qatar Stakes (7f, Good to Firm). Drop back to 6f doesn’t concern as he posted argueably his best effort of the year when 3rd at Pontefract back in July (6f, Good to Firm). Will need everything to drop right for him to win this, so could be a risky. However the Champion De Sousa steps into the plate and that could prove the difference.
4 STRAIGHTOTHEPOINT – Currently only 1lb higher than last win, which came at Ripon in May (6f, Good). Seems to be at his best when fresh, and is also a C&D winner, so is obviously dangerous to discount. Probably would prefer the ground to have a bit more cut in it however, but has an eachway chance for sure.
5 MISSISSIPPI – Got the gaps when finishing well to grab 3rd at Redcar last time out (6f, Good to Firm). Form has been quite patchy at times which puts us off, but if at best he has each way claims, will need the splits though.
6 SIGNORE PICCOLO – Finished a good 2nd last time out to a previous winner at Hamilton (6f, Good). Has gone up 4lb for that effort which makes life harder, but David O’Meara’s stable seem to be going well of late. Will probably need a career best to be involved as even that improved run latest isn’t close to his best.
7 TANABOQ – Broke his maiden tag with a gutsy, all-heart display when making all at Salisbury latest (6f, Good to Firm). Was bought for 180,000gns and has a very nice pedigree which would suggest he has much more too offer, as he has only raced 4 times so far. Will need a career best to take this but has the scope for improvement for powerful connections.
8 EASY CODE – Goes back to trip of his only victory, which came in September last year at Pontefract (6f, Good). Both runs this year have been very uninspiring, latest when stone dead last at York (7f, Good). Not even a drop in class can tempt.
9 CLASSIC PURSUIT – 3lb lower than when finishing too late after an awkward start at Nottingham (5f, Good to Firm). Won on penultimate start at Haydock (6f, Good to Firm) and that latest start seems to suggest his current mark isn’t beyond him. Has Josie Gordon up top doing the steering so isn’t without chance.