IN SUMMARY: Richard Hannon’s colt Alkhor was an expensive yearling and is open to any amount of improvement this season but we haven’t seen him since he won a very ordinary Windsor maiden nearly a year ago and preference was for Udontdodou, who is now a non runner! We have now sided with MY AMIGO (9/2) has sound credentials after running with credit to finish third over 6f twice this season. Celebration, who was a close third from a moderate draw at Chester this month, can also pose a potent threat if the first-time blinkers generate any amount of improvement.
1 Lydia’s Place – Three wins from four turf starts last season but signed off with a disappointing AW run in October and also finished down the field when returning to action at York recently; entitled to have needed that outing but stable has much more obvious chance with Udontdodou.
2 Udontdodou – Reportedly highly regarded by his trainer and has made excellent start to the season, winning Thirsk maiden (5f, soft) and Windsor handicap (5f, good) in good style; carries 6lb penalty for more recent success but today’s slightly longer trip is in his favour and he remains one to follow.
3 Alkhor – Cost 230,000gns as a yearling and delivered on debut promise when short-odds winner of Windsor maiden (5f, good to firm) last June; not seen since then and takes on much stronger opposition on today’s handicap debut but is in excellent hands and has obvious potential to progress.
4 Kingsley Klarion – More exposed than most of these, having raced 14 times, and was unable to capitalise on favourable draw when midfield at Chester (6f) on latest outing; been given some help by the handicapper but has done all his winning on the AW and others have more appealing profiles.
5 My Amigo – Won Newcastle maiden (6f, good to firm) on debut a year ago and has reached the frame in all three subsequent handicaps, most recently when third at Hamilton (6f, good to firm) 11 days ago; nudged up 1lb for that but should be fine over this slightly shorter trip and can go well again.
6 Celebration – Won two 5f nurseries last season and has made very solid start to 3yo campaign; beaten only by two necks when third at Chester (6f, good) earlier in the month and will be on the premises again if first-time blinkers have any sort of positive effect.
7 Farkle Minkus – Readily won 6f Ayr maiden last summer but has performed poorly in two handicaps over that trip since fitted with cheekpieces this season; not written off just yet but needs to get career back on track and others have much less to prove.
8 MIdnight Malibu – Presumably wasn’t suited by soft ground on last month’s seasonal reappearance but recent fifth in Class 3 event at York (5f, good to firm) was very respectable; shaped as though the slightly longer trip here will suit and now 1lb lower; not out of this.
9 Pusey’s Secret – Drew 6l clear to win run-of-the-mill Bath maiden (5.7f, soft) on last month’s seasonal reappearance but was comfortably held when switched to Polytrack for handicap debut a couple of weeks later (6f); may fare better back on turf but still needs to prove she can cope with a mark in the high 70s.
10 New Road Site – Non-runner
myracing Forecast Prices: Evs Udontdodou, 5/1 Alkhor, 6/1 My Amigo, 7/1 Celebration, 12/1 Kingsley Klarion, Midnight Malibu, 20/1 Lydia’s Place, Pusey’s Secret, 25/1 Farkle Minkus