TINTO has transformed himself in the last few months, going from an exposed looking handicapper to a 100-rated sprinter who I think is a real live contender in this Listed race! There are no hugely obvious reasons for the improvement and after winning a couple of handicaps in September and October, he wasn’t disgraced in a French Group 3 recently. That didn’t pan out to suit him but this race might and if he gets the splits from a hold up position, his late thrust could see him heavily involved.
It’s hard to wax lyrical about the claims of ROLLER but if you go back far enough, he’s thrown-in off a mark of 62 and a seven week break since his no-show in a seller at Redcar could spark him back to life. The 6-year-old isn’t the horse he was and hasn’t fired properly since joining this yard, but there were hints of promise at Brighton in August and excuses at Newcastle when he returned to the All-Weather the following month. Off a falling mark in a Class 6 for the first time, I’ll take a punt at 20/1.
VAN DIJK represents a yard who do much better with their horses on the All-Weather compared to turf, his half-brother was set to win at Kempton before breaking down late on and his dam posted her peak RPR around there as well, so there’s hope he could dramatically improve for the change of surface. His RPR of 60 at York in May was a solid effort against some good horses and I’m not convinced he faced blinkers the last twice. With them off and a good draw, I’ve been enticed by worse 50/1 pokes!
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