This is a Class 4 handicap raced over an extended 7f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: It’s best to focus on the 3yo runners in this and MUIRSHEEN DURKIN can come out on top. He’s a lightly-raced son of Fastnet Rock and looks to be improving with every run and the small step down in trip can see him home in-front this evening with his 3yo allowance making all the difference. Navarone deserves respect as a C&D winner but the ground may be against him and this.
1 RUSSIAN SOUL – The Jamie Osborne yard have been out of form over the past fortnight, failing to send out a winner from their last 17 runners. That record doesn’t look set to be bettered in this given their runner is 4lbs higher than his last winning mark against some well-treated 4yo’s. He was only beaten a length last time out in a race similar to today’s but he’s not getting any younger and he may find this too much today.
2 SOVEREIGN BOUNTY – Was well-supported at Haydock back in June when he was sent off the 11/4 favourite before finishing fifth in a 7-strong field. He’s down slightly in trip today and is tricky to rule out having shown plenty of ability at Doncaster last month. He does remain 3lbs higher than his last winning mark but he there’s nothing to say he can’t threaten in this with more improvement still possible. The yard have an 18% strike rate at present.
3 MUIRSHEEN DURKIN – Lightly-raced son of Fastnet Rock who is stepped down in trip slightly following a good second last time out. That was a competitive Class 4 handicap and whilst he’s 4lbs higher today, he remains on good terms with his older rivals with his 3yo allowance. The ground should be fine and there are reasons to believe he will improve again today on just his third start this season. The yard have a 9% strike rate at Beverley.
4 ROARING FORTIES – Well-beaten in all three starts for Rebecca Bastiman having been off the track since August 2015. He was previously with Charlie Appleby and had shown plenty of progression with two Class 4 successes in handicap company but he’s obviously had a problem which has kept him out of action. He’s another 5lbs lower in the weights today but he has shown a fraction of the form needed to win a race like this and is opposed today.
5 SAINT EQUIANO – Takes a marginal step up in trip following a good handicap success last time out. He’s 2lbs higher today which is fair given he only scored by a neck and there is evidently much more to come from him making just his seventh career start today. There is a slight concern about the going though, having produced his best with give in the ground having won on no faster than Good to Soft so far.
6 TALENT SCOUT – Has shown some excellent form for his connections this year with two C&D victories and another success at Beverley. He clearly loves it here with five wins at the track but he’s up against some nicely handicapped 3yo’s today and the boat may have sailed from a handicapping perspective now stepped up to Class 4 company. Worth opposing in this tougher grade today now making his 77th career start.
7 CHAPLIN BAY – Ruth Carr’s runner has a little bit to prove today having been below par on his last few starts. They have been disappointing runs having shown some decent enough form earlier in the season and it’s no surprise to see him dropped a pound in the weights. He’s more than capable in this grade but three wins from 32 starts shows he’s vulnerable and others are preferred.
8 FAYEZ – Finished behind Saint Equiano when the pair met at Carlisle earlier this month. He’s weighted to get much closer today but he hasn’t looked particularly progressive this season following a gelding operation and he doesn’t appear to be the most reliable. He’s still unexposed and it is too early to write him off but there appears to be much safer prospects in this for a yard with a low 8% strike rate in the past fortnight.
9 NAVARONE – Sole career success came over C&D in a Class 5 maiden early last month. He was only beaten half a length next time out in a better race than this at Ayr and the handicapper has been fair, raising him just one pound for that run which leaves him with something to work with today. The going is a clear concern having raced with much more promise on softer ground but he’s worth respect and is likely to be popular in the betting.
10 TAILOR’S ROW – One career success from 16 starts tells its own tale and Mark Johnston’s runner needs to find some improvement to get in contention today. He finished last of seven, beaten 16 1/2 lengths last time out and he’s only 3lbs lower today which leaves him on a career low mark. However, he clearly isn’t straightforward and he’s vulnerable in this against some fair sorts so he’s opposed once again.
11 EL PRINCIPE – Les Eyre’s runner also finds winning difficult with just one victory from 15 career starts. However, he has placed 6 times in addition to that and arrives here on the back of a second place finish at Hamilton. He stayed on well that day and this step up in trip could just be what he needs on ground that should be ideal. He’s up a pound in the weights but races off a low weight today and Jane Elliott’s claim will seriously aide his chances. Interesting.
12 FLYING FANTASY – Has gone backwards if anything for this yard, finishing a well-beaten tenth on his last start. He’s returned to the flat turf today off the same mark which is a concern but there was plenty of money about for him on his second start at Leicester so it may be too soon to write him off for a yard that can improve exposed handicappers. He may be best watched in the betting today now kept at a suitable trip.