IN SUMMARY: After being withdrawn early we can only assume that Bounce (non runner) wasn’t suited by today’s soft conditions. It had looked like she would play a big role and now leaves this contest wide open. Handytalk ran poorly in that race and has a point to prove here but something might have been amiss that day and he looks overpriced at revised odds of 10/1, given he likes soft ground and has been dropped to a handy mark. Young John returns to sprinting after runs over 7f and can get involved but the one we’re interested in is KING OF NAPLES (7/2). He’s another who drops back in trip today and is suited by the ground which could prove key here, the 7/2 on offer with the favourite withdrawn too big to ignore.
1 Suqoor – Gained both his wins over 7f on Polytrack in April; also ran very well when second in first-time hood over 6f on that surface this month and runs off a 2lb lower mark now back on turf, but his sole previous run on soft ground was disappointing; others preferred.
2 Bounce (non runner) – Delivered on debut promise when ready winner of Kempton maiden (6f, AW) in September and made promising return to action when third in Leicester handicap (6f, good to firm) last month, where she travelled strongly to strike the front 2f out; could easily have more to offer if suited by today’s ground.
3 King Of Naples – Drew 9l clear to win soft-ground Redcar maiden (7f) in April, his third start, and was very respectable fifth over that trip on subsequent handicap debut at Haydock. Drops back in trip and we know he’ll cope well with the conditions.
4 Racquet – Impressed when winning 6f Salisbury maiden just over a year ago and subsequently ran very well in the Super Sprint at Newbury (5f, good to firm) but has struggled in two handicaps this season and is impossible to recommend until offering some indication his decline has been arrested.
5 Young John – Yet to add to his 5f 2yo maiden success in eight subsequent outings but his win was gained on soft ground and he confirmed his liking for a testing surface when third over 7f at Haydock last month; 2lb lower now and ought to cope with today’s drop back in trip; respected.
6 Handytalk – Made quite encouraging seasonal debut when second over C&D (soft) in April and didn’t enjoy the run of the race when fourth over 5f at Sandown a few days later; ran poorly on latest outing but been given a good chance by the handicapper if back on song here.
7 Ice Age – Began year with three decent runs on Polytrack, including surprise 7f Kempton maiden win on first occasion, and also gave decent account when fifth on turf at Haydock (6f, good to soft) last month; probably won’t be far away but recent 1lb drop in the weights not enough to tempt.
8 English Hero – Caused 20/1 surprise in York maiden (5.4f, soft) for Olly Stevens in the October and will be suited by today’s ground but is yet to strike form after three starts for new stable this year (albeit had excuses at Newmarket on Saturday) and the handicapper being slow to come to his aid.
myracing Forecast Prices: 9/4 Bounce, 9/2 Young John, 5/1 Suqoor, King Of Naples, 8/1 Ice Age, 10/1 Handytalk, English Hero, 20/1 Racquet