IN SUMMARY: Rhythmical went close off today’s mark at Musselburgh on Saturday and is seemingly back on track now but she didn’t look desperately keen to get her head in front when making her challenge and, given she seems to lack a change of gear, it’s questionable whether she’ll be suited by this sharp circuit on her AW debut. Ready preference is for SAUMUR (7/2), who deserves plenty of credit for chasing down a rival who looked to have slipped the field when scoring on turf here 19 days ago and, given the front pair finished nicely clear, has decent prospects of coping with today’s 5lb higher mark. Endive flopped badly on her British debut but may not have been suited by the soft ground that day and she was quite strong in the betting, so it would be reckless to write her off at this stage.
1 Victoria Pollard – On a workable mark now but hasn’t really been firing on all cylinders on her four starts this season and cheekpieces don’t seem to have helped much on her last couple of outings; needs to up her game and prove she’s fully effective on Polytrack; others preferred.
2 Rhythmical – Seemingly back in form when close second at Musselburgh (1m4f, good to firm) on Saturday, her second run in blinkers; player off the same mark here if suited by the surface on AW debut but yet to add to last summer’s maiden win and may not be straightforward.
3 Saumur – Runner-up to a dual subsequent winner on seasonal reappearance in May and did well to reel in the front-runner and score on turf here (extended 1m3f, good) later that month; another 5lh higher now but should be fine back on Polytrack and looks progressive.
4 Eager Beaver – Gave decent account when third off today’s mark at Wolverhampton (1m4f, AW) a fortnight ago and also has form on Polytrack but career strike-rate now stands at 0-10 and she’ll need to find something extra to get her head in front here.
5 Parnell’s Dream – Came good at Haydock (1m4f, soft) in September, her second handicap; both runs this season have been respectable but a recent 1lb drop in the weights is not enough to tempt and her chance depends on today’s switch to Polytrack squeezing out some improvement.
6 Sixties Love – Belatedly gained first career win in September, when upped to 1m4f at Kempton, but ended 2015 with a disappointing performance; some positives can be drawn from last month’s reappearance run at Sandown but she was well beaten in the end and remains 5lb above her winning mark.
7 Taurian – Now back on the same mark as when winning a Class 6 amateur riders’ event over C&D in November and the booking of Silvestre De Sousa catches the eye today, but she often harms her chance by refusing to settle, and weakened tamely when returning from a break last month.
8 Endive – 0-4 when trained in France last year and was beaten about 49l when last of seven on British debut at Chepstow (1m4f, soft) 17 days ago; huge leap of faith required to support her after that performance but she was strong in the betting beforehand and may fare better on this less-testing surface.
myracing Forecast Prices: 9/4 Rhythmical, 3/1 Saumur, 9/2 Parnell’s Dream, 6/1 Victoria Pollard, 8/1 Eager Beaver, 12/1 Taurian, 14/1 Endive, 16/1 Sixties Love