This is an intriguing handicap over a mile, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: There was so much to like about ITSAKINDAMAGIC’s debut and Andrew Balding’s runner should have more to come following a facile success in a small field handicap last time out. He can defy top weight here but he will have to overcome some nice sorts including Ebbesbourne who did well to win on debut and should improve for this step up in trip with Ryan Moore aboard.
1 ITSAKINDAMAGIC – Lovely colt who has two solid pieces of form to his name. He finished third in a strong maiden at Nottingham in October of last year and that race is filled with winners and lovely sorts so he can be upgraded for that. He thrashed a modest bunch late last month over C&D by 8 lengths and the handicapper has allotted him an opening mark of 87. This will be much tougher but he’s fully deserved of a chance off this mark for a yard in good recent form.
2 MYSTIQUE MOON – Drifted badly in the betting on handicap debut at Newcaslte in February but he won comfortably that day and the handicapper has raised him 6lbs as a result. He’s obviously not one of Godolphin’s world beaters having raised exclusively on the All-Weather so far in his career and he’ll find this tougher against some much better opposition. Should improve again for just his second start over a mile and the yard have a 21% strike rate here.
3 ARABIAN HOPE – Won with plenty to spare at Kempton earlier this month to break her maiden tag at the second time of asking. She had been off the track for a long time previous to that but showed no ill-effects and she’s likely to go on to better things with that recent run behind her. The hood is left on again today and Josephine Gordon keeps the partnership intact. The yard have an excellent 33% strike rate at Chelmsford and she’s a leading contender.
4 INDIAN DANDY – Beat a progressive sort by 1/2 a length in a small field over C&D last month and the handicapper has raised him 4lbs for that success. This looks a high enough mark for a horse that has only contested two small field handicaps and he’s likely to find this much tougher. A mile looks the right trip at this point although he could go further than this with the pedigree on his dam’s side. Won’t be done improving but others make more appeal.
5 EBBESBOURNE – Once-raced filly who did well to score over 7 furlongs on debut here last September. She finished with an excellent burst of speed that day and the step up in trip to a mile should bring out plenty of improvement in her for a stable that gets the most out of their horses aged 3. She’s been handed a less than ideal draw in stall 8 but is open to any amount of improvement and is likely to be popular in the betting.
6 NATIVE SOLDIER – Improved on his second start to win a Class 5 maiden at Newcastle at the end of November last year. The form of that race looks decidedly-average and he will need to have improved a great deal over the winter to win off an opening mark of 80. The betting may provide some clues today for a horse returning off a 153-day break combined with a gelding operation and others have more attractive profiles.
7 INNER CIRCLE – Exposed sort who steps up to a mile today for the first time following several attempts over shorter. He’s by a speedy sire but his dam’s side provides some stamina so the trip may not be so much of an issue but this mark looks stiff enough off a break against some unexposed sorts. He’s likely to be prominent and could serve it up to some of his less experienced rivals here but he may just be edged out of this.
8 QUANDARY PEAK – Sprang a 66/1 surprise at Lingfield last June to win a poor Maiden Auction Stakes. She’s shown absolutely nothing since following a heavy defeat off a mark of 64 and two sizeable defeats in France in what were relatively strong events. She returns to action in the UK off a mark of 75 and this looks a tough enough task off a break and she’ll be better when she’s stepped back down in grade. Best watched today.