This is a Class 6 handicap raced over 1m 4f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is an incredibly weak race and represents an excellent opportunity for GOLD CLASS to win on the flat for his new yard. He won over hurdles last time out and showed that he’s progressed from what he has shown previously and that should see him take advantage of his lowly mark in this. Elite Icon could give him the most to think about with taking a drop in grade and stepping up in trip.
1 FROZON – Remains on an attractive mark of 52 following a one length defeat at Wolverhampton last time out over C&D. That came in a weak claimer, but he showed enough ability to suggest that he could win a race of this nature. He remains a maiden from 13 starts but he gets the assistance of a useful claimer and he’s one to consider strongly today.
2 MEDIEVAL BISHOP – Finished behind Frozon when the pair met in a claimer last time out. He’s been dropped a pound for that run but he doesn’t look good enough to reverse the form and he’s without a win since May 2015. He is a C&D winner which has to be respected in a race as weak as this, but others make more appeal, particularly given his draw in stall 11.
3 THE JUGGLER – 16 race maiden who has shown enough ability to win a race of this nature, but he needs things to fall perfectly which they don’t often do. He was second over 1m 4f at Kempton last season off a 6lb higher mark and he is down a further 2lbs today so it’s still impossible to write him off in a particularly poor race. Market should guide best.
4 FLYING POWER – Has won eight times – which is a lot for this field – but the last of those successes came back in August 2014 and he’s been in free fall through the weights since. He’s done little of late to suggest that he’s any closer to a return to form, although he wasn’t beaten all that far at Lingfield on Good to Firm in June. Another that needs to do much more.
5 STEADY MAJOR – The yard have a below par 6% strike rate at Wolverhampton and that’s unlikely to be improved by their runner today. He’s won just twice from 36 starts and he’s dropped an amazing 28lbs since December which shows the height of his collapse through the weights. There’s little to support a revival in form today and he’s best watched.
6 BLACK ICEMAN – The yard have sent out just one winner from 63 runners at Wolverhampton and their runner arrives here having been pulled up last time out. His last victory came over hurdles back in June 2015 and he’s lingered in marks around the mid to high 40s for a long time. He should find one too good from stall 12 today.
7 TOUCH THE CLOUDS – William Stone can get some improvement out of lowly rated horses and his runner has shown enough form of late to suggest that he can win a race such as this. He was only beaten 5 3/4 lengths in a Class 6 Nottingham handicap last time out and the step up in trip could work given his dam’s sire had plenty of stamina. This experiment with the trip is by no means sure to suit tough.
8 GOLD CLASS – The Olly Murphy stable are flying at present with a 27% strike rate in the past fortnight and their runner hacked up in a Class 5 handicap hurdle last time out. He races off a bottom mark of 45 today and he should be right there with plenty more improvement expected. Will need every yard of the trip but he could quite easily progress past these.
9 BARBARY PRINCE – Lightly raced five-year-old who makes his sixth start today. He’s shown absolutely nothing in five starts, finishing no closer than 22 lengths to the winner on all occasions. There’s little hope that he will improve today, let alone enough to trouble the leading chances in this and he can only be watched.
10 FLOWERS WILL BLOOM – First time in a handicap today for David O’Meara’s runner who has been beaten comfortably on all three career starts. She has a useful three-year-old allowance today and she could make full use of that against a really weak bunch of opponents. The yard’s form is a critical concern, having won with just one of their last 75 runners, but she could give the yard some much needed luck.
11 THE BATHAM BOY – The yard do okay here with a 10% strike rate, although their three-year-old runner will have to improve to better that record. He’s been beaten a long way in four starts and makes his handicap debut today off a mark of 51. The market will guide best here, but he wouldn’t have to improve much to get into contention.
12 ELITE ICON – Iain Jardine’s yard has been going relatively well of late, with a 13% strike rate in the past fortnight. Their son of Sixties Icon has shown some ability in a couple of Class 5 handicaps at Carlisle and the step down in grade could be enough to see him come out on top. The step up in trip should suit and he has to be one of the leading contenders on these terms.