IN SUMMARY: One with plenty of potential is Up In Lights, who was deemed worthy of a crack at a Listed event on her final start in 2015 and remains unexposed. However, we haven’t seen her since November and she was a disappointing favourite over C&D on her only previous AW start. Emirates Airline (non runner) needs to bounce back from a poor seasonal reappearance at Chester but remains lightly raced and might be happier back on Polytrack, having impressed in a maiden on his only previous start on this surface. Until last month, Major Crispies had never raced beyond about 7f, but he seemed suited by 1m when third over C&D a fortnight ago and, in the same race, Ruban made late headway under a fairly tender ride and might have entered a few notebooks. Bastille Day completes the shortlist. With the majority of the field having questions to answer it’s worth siding with COMPLICIT (Each Way 13/2) who boasts form from last season capable of winning this, likes the surface and has less to prove than most. The services of Luke Morris on top is another obvious plus.
1 Complicit – Competitive in Pattern company last spring but struggled as of yet this season and comes here after finishing down the field in two turf handicaps. However, he will appreciate today’s drop in class and has slipped to a very handy mark, blinkers removed.
2 Fire Ship – Well beaten in the Lincoln on stable debut and fared only slightly better when midfield at Newbury (1m, good) last month; been given a chance by the handicapper but is seemingly on the decline and this will be his first AW run since 2011.
3 Zugzwang – Absent since finishing third over 1m2f at Chester last summer; ought to be reasonably well suited by 1m on Polytrack but current mark doesn’t leave him with much room for manoeuvre and he’s entitled to benefit from this outing.
4 Emirates Airline – Flopped badly when favourite for seasonal reappearance at Chester and now has a point to prove but remains lightly raced and his only previous AW run was his 7l maiden win at Chelmsford; no surprise if he gets back on track now returned to Polytrack.
5 Up In Lights – Won two of her first three starts last season and also ran with credit when close third at Newmarket (1m1f, good to soft) on fourth outing; needs to prove she’s fully effective on this surface but her defeat in a heavy-ground Listed race when last in action can be overlooked and she’s open to progress this year.
6 Jodies Jem – Earns good marks for consistency and was driven out to score off a 3lb lower mark over C&D in April, his penultimate start; also gave very good account when fourth in Class 2 event at Chelmsford last month but the likelihood is that he’ll find at least a couple of today’s rivals better handicapped.
7 Storm King – Easily reeled in after making the running after long absence at Chelmsford last month; well handicapped on old form and was a dual C&D winner back in 2012 but it’s tricky to gauge how much ability he retains as a 7yo; usual cheekpieces missing today.
8 Major Crispies – Much better known for his exploits over 6f/7f but seemed well suited by the step up to 1m when third behind a clear winner over C&D last month; could easily have more to offer over this trip but modest 2-34 career strike-rate keeps a lid on enthusiasm.
9 Ruban – Won twice on the AW in early 2015 (Fibresand/Polytrack) and caught the eye making steady late headway into midfield under a hands-and-heels ride when returning from absence over C&D last month; in the mix if building on that performance.
10 Franco’s Secret – Suited by patient tactics and a strong pace; finished well to claim fourth (a nose behind Major Crispies) over C&D last month but that performance merely reinforced suspicions that he’s a shade too high in the weights at present.
11 Yamllik – Lightly raced 4yo who has been on the sidelines since his well-held second in first-time cheekpieces at Wolverhampton (8.6f) a year ago; offloaded by Godolphin for just £2,500 in January and probably best watched on debut for Brian Barr.
12 Vocaliser – Left Jim Bolger after winning small-field maiden at Wexford (9.5f, soft) last summer and has shown only minor promise over hurdles since joining Robin Dickin; faces tough assignment in this good-quality handicap now back on the Flat.
13 Countermeasure – Unplaced all six starts (all on turf) in France for Andre Fabre and makes British debut after 263-day absence; in good hands and any market support will need to be taken seriously but others have more obvious claims.
14 Bastille Day – Slightly disappointing when upped to 1m2f last month but made pleasing seasonal debut when placed in big field at Ascot (1m, good to soft) in April and was a C&D maiden winner in September; not yet fully exposed and enters calculations.
myracing Forecast Prices: 11/4 Up In Lights, 7/1 Bastille Day, 8/1 Zugzwang, Emirates Airline, Jodies Jem, 10/1 Major Crispies, Countermeasure, 12/1 Fire Ship, Franco’s Secret, 14/1 Complicit, 16/1 Ruban, 20/1 Storm King, 25/1 Yamllik, 25/1 Vocaliser