This is a competitive Class 6 contest, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Ben Haslam’s Vaux makes quite a lot of appeal on paper but he’s been handed a horrid draw and a chance is taken on MIMIC’S MEMORY. She’s improved with every run and her performance last time out behind Ettu looks one of the best bits of form in this race. She makes her handicap debut off a workable mark in this and she should still be improving.
1 VAUX – Yet to win in 9 starts but has shown some decent enough ability including a good third off this mark over C&D last month. A mark of 60 looks workable now the handicapper has shown some leniency and the booking of Adam Kirby (6 wins last 40 rides) looks positive now returned here again. He does have to shoulder top weight and it may take a little more improvement to win this but he’s respected and he’s got the ability to win in this company.
2 MIMIC’S MEMORY – Handicap debut today for a yard with a poor strike rate here (5%, 3 wins from 57 runners). She’s been beaten by modest margins over 6 furlongs at Newcastle and Southwell since November last year although they’ve been in some relatively competitive maidens and the form is actually okay. The betting market will be very insightful now she steps into handicap company for the first time and she’s not without a chance in this.
3 NIGHT SHADOW – Has run over various trips in his 4-race career including over today’s 6 furlongs. His first run in handicap company was arguably his best, finishing just 2 lengths behind a relatively decent sort in these types of races and the handicapper has been fair and left him on a mark of 60 today. The extra distance should be in his favour here given he found things just a little too quick last time out and he’s another that’s hard to rule out. Interesting.
4 SHEILA’S PALACE – Similar profile to Ben Haslam’s runner here and the handicapper has dropped her 8lbs since her handicap debut last August. She’s shown some renewed form of late including decent runs over the minimum trip at Lingfield on her last two starts. The step up in trip raises a slight question mark now it’s her first attempt over 6 furlongs although she hasn’t been stopping in her races so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. She returns to handicap company here and is of interest again with Josephine Gordon aboard (3 wins last 25 rides).
5 ALFOLK – Plenty of money around for him on his last three starts having been sent off 9/4, 5/2 and 2/1. He’s been tried over different trips and it hasn’t worked out over further and connections drop him back down in trip to 6 furlongs for the first time today. He loses the assistance of a 7lb claimer but Jamie Spencer takes over and he may improve for some more professional handling today now dropped a further 2lbs. This trainer doesn’t have too many horses rated this low and he should really be doing much better here.
6 BLASTOFMAGIC – Makes his seasonal return here having been gelded over the winter. His best effort came at Brighton over a very similar trip to this back in August although he was below par on the All-Weather at Kempton and he perhaps has a slight point to prove now kept on the sand. The cheekpieces are applied for the first time today and the booking of Oisin Murphy really catches the eye (4 wins from 30 rides last 14 days) and he’s worth a second look in the betting.
7 CHAMPAGNE QUEEN – There has been a bit of money around for her on a couple of her runs to date but she’s failed to deliver on each occasion. The handicapper has given her another chance today with a 3lb drop in the weights which leaves her 11lbs lower than when making her handicap debut but she’s another that needs to show she’s actually up for a battle. Luke Morris rides her again and the trip should be fine although her overall form doesn’t do much to inspire confidence.
8 TINK – Second run in a handicap today and a 4lb drop to a mark of 46 does little to make her attractive in this. She’s been beaten out of sight on her last two runs and has been given a break since her last run when she was beaten 51 lengths over just 6 furlongs. Trainer did have a winner from his only runner in the last fortnight but she’s very hard to recommend and looks as if she’ll need a weaker race than this to break her maiden tag. Cheekpieces applied for the first time.
9 VOCALISATION – Nine runs without even placing and races off 1lb out of the handicap here. Wasn’t beaten all that far on her last three starts but they were all poor races off a very low mark and her trainers record here does little to inspire confidence (4 wins from 103 runs). David Probert is an interesting booking so perhaps connections expect a better showing today but she’s impossible to recommend on form. Avoided.