This is a Class 3 handicap raced over 6f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Firefright demands respect after a brilliant win last time out Doncaster, but he’s gone up six pounds and the step back to six furlongs may not suit. Preference is for CLEAR SPRING, who was rated sixteen pounds higher in September and a drop down to this class on his latest run proved effective as he was only beaten a few lengths off a two pound higher mark. This looks a much easier race and with Luke Morris now taking over the ride, he can gain a thirteenth career victory.
1 ICE LORD – Races off his last winning mark today having produced a mixed bag of performances this season. He was beaten 6 1/4 lengths last time out at Newmarket but that was a hot race and he could bounce back to form now dropped in grade. He should handle this going having placed on Soft and Good to Soft and he enters calculations today for a yard with an excellent 19% strike rate at Newmarket.
2 FIREFRIGHT – Jeremy Noseda’s colt thrashed a modest bunch at Doncaster last time out, running out a comfortable 2 1/4 length winner. This is a tougher contest today and he races off a 6lb higher mark but he’s still fairly treated at the weights. He steps down in trip today which is an interesting move having won over no shorter than 7 furlongs and that has to be a concern in this. However, William Buick keeps the partnership in tact and his mount brings a bit of quality into the race off favourable terms. Respected.
3 MOONRAKER – Goes in search of his first success since August 2015 having been rated as high as 103 at one stage. He’s not matched up to those heights this season with some mixed performances and he generally finds one too good. His second place effort at Ascot back in May off a 4lb higher mark would give him a say in this although he’s exposed to some more progressive sorts and it may pay to oppose him once again. He will pop up at some point though.
4 CLEAR SPRING – Was rated sixteen pounds higher back in September so it’s clear he isn’t the force of old, but John Spearing’s nine year old ran his best race in a long time when a close fourth at Thirsk in a Class 3 handicap, dropped from Class 2 company. That looked a very competitive race for the grade and he is now two pounds lower, which looks a big mistake by the handicapper. Conditions will suit and Luke Morris now takes the ride, so he should be tough to beat.
5 CAPTAIN LARS – Has produced the best of his form on the All-Weather and Derek Shaw’s runner looks up against it today. He was beaten 22 lengths last time out, finishing last of eleven and it’s surprising to see him kept over this trip having failed to win at 6 furlongs in 15 attempts. He’s unchanged at the weights off a mark of 83 and has to be opposed today with the stats against him.
6 MONT KIARA – Has faced some difficult tasks this season over the minimum trip in some large field handicaps. He has his sights lowered for the first time this season and he’s another runner lingering on a fair mark having won off 10lbs higher last summer. He doesn’t find winning easy with just two victories from 18 career starts but the step back up in trip to 6 furlongs is positive and the booking of Harry Bentley catches the eye. Respected.
7 ZAMJAR – Makes his first start today following a gelding operation and horses generally need their first run off such an operation. He’s well-treated with a 3yo allowance but he needs to prove he’s going the right way and his last two runs were fairly disappointing. He’s best watched in this and may be better for this run for a yard with a poor 8% strike rate at present.
8 LOVE OASIS – Has finished second on her last three starts showing an excellent level of consistency. She’s been nudged up another pound for her latest placed effort which leaves her 8lbs higher than her last winning mark which is a negative in a field of well-handicapped runners. This is her trip but the ground is a concern having raced on Good and faster and she may not get things his own way today.
9 SWISS CROSS – Phil McEntee’s runner makes his 117th career start today at the grand age of 10. He won a race in Jersesy in early July but it’s hard to take that form into account and he looks up against it in this company. He was held off this mark in a Class 5 Brighton handicap back in June and he’s not going to find any more improvement from that performance. He should easily find a few too good in this and will fare better when lowered back in grade.