This is an open handicap over 7 furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This could turn out to be quite a competitive handicap and PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH can land the spoils. He makes his seasonal return to action today in a handicap for the first time off an opening mark of 81. That should be workable based on his maiden victory given he should have progressed a lot over the winter and he can win this. Il Sicario is worth opposing in this tougher grade whilst Spun Gold may out run his odds making his handicap debut off a fair mark of 68.
1 ARCHER’S ARROW – Ran a nice race on handicap debut off today’s mark to finish second of eight over 7 furlongs at Lingfield last month. He attempted to make all that day and weakened in the finish and connections will be hopeful that he’ll be able to dominate from the front here and try and hold off his challengers. However, this looks slightly stronger and he’s probably going to bump into a couple of better treated rivals today.
2 EJAABY – Showed clear progression to win on his seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton last month. He’s been given an opening mark of 82 which looks high enough on what he’s achieved to date but he’s going to improve for his last run and the yard have been in excellent form of late with 9 winners from their last 28 runners. He’s likely to be strongly supported in the betting again today and should take plenty of beating.
3 PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH – Well-supported on debut to win a competitive maiden at Haydock. He stayed on nicely that day and looked better the further he went so it’s no surprise to see him stepped up in trip again off a nice opening mark of 81. William Haggas is another in form trainer with 7 winners from his last 27 runners and his son of Dutch Art should be thereabouts if he’s ready off a winter break.
4 GIENNAH – Second run for Daniel Loughnane today having transferred from the Brian Meehan stable in the winter. She was a well-beaten fifth of six at Lingfield in February off a 2lb higher mark and this is much stronger than that contest so it would be a surprise to see her come home in-front today with a more exposed profile than some of her opponents. She’s worth taking on here with some classier rivals in opposition.
5 PRIVATE MISSION – Broke his maiden tag at the second time of asking when winning a Class 5 Lingfield maiden in late December. He’s been put away since then and the handicapper has given him an opening mark of 77 which looks fair given the horse he beat on his last start has since won a handicap off a mark of 74. Adam Kirby retains the ride and he could be dangerous here if he improves again. Respected for a yard that have had 2 winners from their last 9 runners.
6 ABIENTO – Has a slightly exposed profile now making his eighth career start today. It took five attempts to see him break his maiden tag which came over 6 furlongs at Chester last September when well-supported and he was comfortably held in a handicap off a 2lb higher mark last month. This does represent a drop down in grade and his runs in tougher company suggest he’s well-regarded so it may be unwise to rule him out at a bigger price.
7 KINGS ACADEMY – Makes his handicap debut today following four runs in maiden company. He was only beaten a length on his last two starts which came at the end of last year when well-supported and he makes his handicap debut today off a fair opening mark of 75. He’s full of speed and this slightly longer trip may just aid him given he just struggled to match the speed of some of his opponents in maiden company. Interesting.
8 GLORY OF PARIS – Rod Millman’s runner broke his maiden tag in fine style earlier last month when winning a handicap by 4 lengths at Kempton. He was raised 11lbs for that success which saw him face a heavy defeat in a Class 2 handicap at Newbury later last month. He’s been dropped 5lbs following that run and whilst this is easier, he has questions to answer off this mark and he’s opposed today.
9 DOURADO – Races off the same mark as when beaten 2 lengths at Newmarket last October over 7 furlongs. His sole success came over an extended 7 furlongs at Lingfield in August in a weak maiden and he’s been comfortably held in handicaps ever since. This still looks like a stiff enough mark and he’s since transferred to the Patrick Chamings stable from Richard Hannon’s. Best watched today.
10 SPUN GOLD – Lightly-raced colt for the Luca Cumani stable making his handicap debut today off 68. He had absolutely no chance of winning last month when beaten by the classy Eagle Creek and he steps back down in trip today which looks smart based on his breeding. This ground should be ideal for him and he may be underestimated off today’s rating. Interesting for a yard that has a 21% strike rate at Leicester.
11 IL SICARIO – Won a weak handicap earlier this month at Beverley, scoring by a neck off a mark of 67. The handicapper has left him on the same rating which looks generous as he had clearly shown improvement and he’s worth his chance now stepped up in grade. His form needs improvement to get the better of some lightly-raced types with progressive profiles but the booking of Silvestre De Sousa looks positive (10 wins from his last 46 rides) and he can’t be ruled out here.