IN SUMMARY: At the prices, COHESION gets the vote to conquer top-weight in this Class 2 event. He’s a C&D winner with strong form to his name and the application of cheekpieces will only improve this useful sort. Mixboy is his obvious rival having hacked up in a Class 4 handicap last time out.
1 COHESION – Won a decent handicap over C&D earlier in the year off a 3lb lower mark. He finished midfield in a strong Class 2 handicap last time out and the switch back to this track and the application of first-time cheekpieces are both positive moves.
2 CROWNED EAGLE – Makes his first start for Marco Botti today having finished fourth of 16 on his final start for John Gosden. He’s competitive off a mark of 95 and the switch to this easier grade could see him post another strong performance. Respected.
3 AL HAMDANY – Just got his head in-front in a Class 3 handicap at Kempton last time out off a low-weight. He’s been raised 3lbs for that victory which is reasonable but he will have to improve again to come out on top in this stronger handicap. Best watched.
4 MIXBOY – Has been in fine form for this stable over varying trips and different codes. He won a Catterick handicap off a mark of 78 in fine style last time out and he races off an 11lb higher mark today. That looks fair and Joe Fanning keeps the partnership intact again. A likely pace angle in this field.
5 CASTLELYONS – Raised 4lbs in the weights for a length victory at Kempton last time out. He steps back up in grade to Class 2 company for the first time and that may catch him out today albeit there’s plenty of improvement left in him. Richard Kingscote rides for the first time.
6 AFONSO DE SOUSA – Races off his last winning mark but that came in a weaker race than this and his latest efforts have been poor. A switch back to the All-Weather is welcome but he has something to find with several of his opponents. Best watched.
7 CANBERRA CLIFFS – Turned a new leaf this year, notching up four wins in relatively quick succession on the turf. She’s without a win or placed effort from 5 starts on the All-Weather which is a concern and others make greater appeal today.
8 NONIOS – One win from 12 starts and David Simcock’s runner races from one pound out of the handicap today. He was well-beaten in a couple of class 4 handicaps on the turf most recently and whilst the switch to the All-Weather will suit, his opponents bring stronger form into the race.
9 FAIR POWER – 3lbs out of the handicap today and his overall form needs big improvement to get the better of these. He’s recorded a couple of Class 5 victories this season at Brighton and Epsom but he’s yet to reproduce a similar level of form over 1m 4f. He’s likely to struggle here.