This is a Class 3 handicap over a mile, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a wide open handicap and a chance is taken on KINGSTON KURRAJONG. Michael Attwater’s runner has begun to slip down the weights and he’s now 4lbs lower than his last winning mark which also came in a higher grade than this. It won’t be long before he’s back to winning ways and gets the vote here. Alnashama deserves a place at the front of the betting and he’ll improve for his seasonal reappearance.
1 BALLARD DOWN – No surprise to see him raised 7lbs following an excellent success over an extended mile at Wolverhampton last time out. He won by a comfortable 3 3/4 lengths that day and the visor is left on today which may continue to bring out more improvement in William Knight’s runner. He’s entitled to go well again from stall 1 and Harry Bentley is aboard again today so there are plenty of positives for him in this.
2 ALNASHAMA – Completed a hat-trick of wins last year over seven furlongs and a mile on the turf which saw him shoot up the weights. He’s been dropped a pound following a third placed finish in a Class 2 handicap last time out which looks generous from the handicapper and there’s every chance he will improve for that effort here. He makes just his third start on the All-Weather today and he’ll be dangerous if he’s as effective on it as he is on turf.
3 PALAWAN – Finished eighth of nine, beaten 18 lengths on his first run for Jamie Osborne last time out at Windsor. That was his first run off a break so there is an available excuse although he was never able to get involved so it would be clutching at straws to suggest he can bounce back to success here on his second run of the campaign. He’s been dropped 2lbs in the handicap which leaves him on a new career low mark but he’s regressive and may be best opposed here.
4 UNFORGIVING MINUTE – Sole success came in a seller for this yard last October and he returns to action today off a high enough mark. He was beaten 9 3/4 lengths in a Class 2 handicap at Chelmsford over a mile and whilst that was a tougher grade, he was never able to land a blow. Adam Kirby is a positive booking and he should be in the mix if he’s fit off a break. The betting market will guide best.
5 DARK DEVIL – Scored by a neck at Goodwood on his final start of last season which was a good effort in a fair handicap. He’s been raised 3lbs in the weights as a result and he’s stepped up in grade which may just find him out although he makes just his tenth start today and he’s clearly got more improvement in him. The stable are in fair form of late although he may well need this off a break and is opposed today.
6 REAVER – Struggled in a Class 2 handicap at Thirsk last time out off a mark of 85 having finished last of 17. He’s dropped down in grade today which will help his cause, as will a one pound drop in the weights although this will require more than when he scored over an extended mile at Nottingham last month. Stall 11 is far from ideal but the yard is in good form of late and he may go well today.
7 KINGSTON KURRAJONG – Has run to a moderate level of form since arriving at the Michael Attwater stable and he races off a 4lb lower mark than his last success which came in a tougher race than this last summer. He ran to his mark last time out to finish fifth of nine, beaten 5 1/4 lengths and connections will be happy to see him dropped 2lbs in the weights for that run. 2 wins from 16 career starts isn’t ideal but he’s slipping down to a workable mark and will be dangerous soon.
8 KESTREL DOT COM – The first time cheekpieces had a big impact last time out and that saw him win in fine style in a Class 4 handicap. He’s been raised 8lbs for that success which looks fair given that dramatically improved form and he should go well again with the blinkers left on and Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle. Stall 10 makes life more difficult and this is a career high mark but his trainer may have found the key to him.
9 CLASSIC VILLAGER – Recorded a hat-trick of wins back in summer 2015 which saw him jump 20lbs in the handicap. He was only seen three times last year for Mick Appleby and he’s transferred yards again to Dean Ivory and he returns to action off a 226-day break. He wears a hood for the first time today and he’s on a workable mark although his form last year was poor and he’s opposed today.
10 RIPOLL – Was beaten 1 1/2 lengths by a smart enough sort earlier this month and the form looks solid with the winner going on to score again. He’s been raised a pound for that effort which puts him on a near career high mark again and he’s without a win since last autumn although he has run to a fair level on virtually every start since then. Stall 5 is fine and Pat Dobbs gets on board for the first time today.
11 LASTMANLASTROUND – Won a Class 5 handicap on his seasonal reappearance when well-supported having been sent off 7/4. He’s been raised 2lbs for that success which looks fair and he’s been stepped significantly up in grade today which will make life much harder although this mark does look fair. Hard to rule out with David Probert aboard again (24% strike rate in the past fortnight).