TAWDEEA tops both the market and the weights, but with first time cheekpieces and an unchanged mark following a solid third place in the Squirrel Handicap he is our tip for this £30,000 guaranteed race. Both Moderah and Buonarroti have previously shown talent which would be enough to win off their current marks, while Dashing Star returns from a lengthy absence but was in good form when last seen.
1 DASHING STAR – The other top weight, his last run saw him finishing second in the York Silver Cup off a mark of 99. A reproduction of that run would see him go close today but he hasn’t been seen on track since last July which is worrying. He’s got an inconsistent record when running fresh and he’ll be an interesting contender.
2 TAWDEEA – Bounced back from two poor runs in summer with a good 3rd over Course & Distance 20 days ago. Those two races included the Betfred Ebor (sent off just 16/1) and he found last time out much easier. Won’t need to improve much but should still be able to progress and first time cheek pieces will hopefully help.
3 MODERAH – A Course & Distance winner last September in a Class 5 Maiden, that remains his only victory to date despite being rated 100. She has been outclassed in tough company on her two runs this year and she’s interesting dropping back in trip, but needs to turn her season around here.
4 NOBLE GIFT – Winner of this race last year under the same jockey off a mark just one ound lower, but has been well beaten on every start since June (5). Ran poorly over Course & Distance behind Tawdeea and doesn’t get much of a swing in the weights.
5 FATTSOTA – Has fallen in the weights from a peak of 112 last May to just 95 today, but this 8 year old has been badly out of form this season. Last win came 13 starts ago and a 8 length defeat last time out – albeit in a tough Class 2 Handicap at York – suggests he’s yet to turn the slide around.
6 JOHN REEL – Well beaten on his last five starts since winning the Galicuix Handicap at Newmarket in May, he’s back down to a four pound lower mark than that day. Conditions will suit but with an inexperienced jockey onboard (7lb claimer who has 2 wins from her 25 rides so far) will find this a difficult contest.
7 BUONARROTI – Ryan Moore an eye catching booking, having never ridden this 5 year old on any of his previous 24 starts. Despite running well in lesser contests recently, including a win at Ayr, he’s difficult to win with (has only one other win). Was sold out of the Ballydoyle Stables in the winter of 2015 after he failed to improve on a 5th place in the Racing Post Trophy so clearly has ability but looks short in the market with the price influenced by the jockey.
8 STOCKHILL DIVA – Has been nicely progressive over the last two seasons, starting with a mark of 65 in 2015 and now running here off 89. She has struggled off marks in the 90s on her last three starts and looks weighted to her best now despite running well off 90 at Newmarket in June.