IN SUMMARY: SIR RODERIC (6/1 Each Way) has been nudged up another 2lb for finishing second at Leicester last month but he was sticking on well in the closing stages that day and might still be progressing. The first of his two wins in April was gained in good style over C&D on soft ground and, given the strong likelihood that he’ll be on the premises again today, he provides excellent each-way value. House Of Commons seemed to have a bit left in the tank when winning a Ripon maiden earlier in the month and is feared most. Rock Steady has been off since October but he’s another lightly raced one with potential to improve.
1 Ballard Down – Just held on to win Kempton maiden (1m, AW) in December and made pleasing return to action when fourth of 17 in Ascot handicap (1m, good to firm) last month; claims on that evidence but the ground is very different here and he was a disappointing favourite on Tapeta last time out.
2 House Of Commons – Displayed promise in all three 2yo maidens and, having been gelded, justified odds-on favouritism when winning Ripon maiden (1m, good) when back in action this month; takes on stronger opposition now switched to a handicap but has obvious scope to progress.
3 Medburn Dream – Front-runner who completed a quick hat-trick on softish ground at around 1m in April; hiked up the weights as a consequence and was soundly beaten in a valuable 1m2f event at Epsom on Derby Day, but is in calmer waters here and further improvement not out of the question.
4 Skeaping – Still seeking first win after nine starts and was no match for the comfortable winner when second of five in Lingfield maiden (11.5f, soft) on latest outing; should be fine over today’s shorter trip but doesn’t looked particularly well treated now back in a handicap.
5 Philadelphia – Took too keen a hold and finished down the field when upped to 1m for handicap debut at Newmarket last month; comes here with a point to prove but his 7f maiden win in April was gained on soft ground and he’s in good hands.
6 Sir Roderic – Began season with two wins, the first over C&D on soft ground, and ran well in defeat on both starts last month (1m2f/8.3f); latest 2lb nudge up the weights not helpful but there’s every chance he’ll be in the thick of things again.
7 Rock Steady – Signed off in October with 7f nursery win on Tapeta at Wolverhampton and had previously run well on soft turf; upped in trip for today’s seasonal reappearance and needs to resume his progress, but no surprise if he does.
8 Willsy – Yet to race beyond about 7f and looks exposed, having racing 17 times; ought to cope quite well with today’s ground and shaped as though worth a crack at today’s trip when making late headway over 7f in first-time visor at Sandown recently, but others have more pressing claims.
myracing Forecast Prices: 7/2 House Of Commons, 5/1 Philadelphia, Sir Roderic, Rock Steady, 11/2 Medburn Dream, 7/1 Ballard Down, 10/1 Skeaping 14/1 Willsy