In what effectively looks a match on paper, WISHFULL DREAMING(best price 6/4) can come out on top of a fascinating clash between himself and the other hugely promising sort, Marracudja. Although he made rather heavy weather of beating a 33/1 poke at Worcester on his hurdling debut, he gave the impression he would be much more streetwise to what’s required next time and as his main market rival looks a keen-going, front-runner, Richard Johnson will have a bird’s eye view of proceedings in his slipstream.
Wishfull Dreaming - 1pt @ 6/4
Although the wheels rather dropped off WARRANTOR(best price 7/1) in the latter part of last season, he still enjoyed a pretty fruitful campaign over hurdles and he remains one of the nicest prospects in the yard as he embarks on a career over fences. The fact that Warren Greatrex is prepared to risk the son of Turtle Island in Graded company first time off the shelf rather than run him in a Mickey Mouse race suggests his handler believes he belongs in this sort of class and he simply has to be played at his early quotes to find out.
Warrantor - 0.5pt @ 7/1
Backing lightly-raced, three-year-olds against more worldly-wise experienced handicappers at a shortish price isn’t a profitable strategy in the long term, but in the case of PREDOMINANCE(best price 9/2), he’s very much the exception to the rule. Impressive when overcoming a slow beginning at Chepstow on debut, William Haggas’ inmate was strongly fancied to make a successful handicap bow at Newbury next time out and although he failed in his attempt to land the punt, he did more than enough to suggest he will pay his way in this sphere. In a strongly-run affair at the Berkshire venue, the son of Danehill Dancer just found himself too far out of his ground when the eventual winner, Lear’s Rock, nipped up the inside and kicked for home at the two pole, and even though he got the deficit down to a head at the line, he was just always being held by Ralph Beckett’s charge. Although he’s dropping back down a furlong, conditions are such that the ability to stay further than 7f won’t go amiss, and hopefully this imposing three-year-old will know enough on this occasion to make his class count.
Predominance - 1pt @ 9/2
OUR KAEMPFER(best price 7/2) shaped with an immense amount of promise on his seasonal return at Chepstow and having run well on his previous two visits to today’s course, expectations are high Charlie Longsdon’s inmate will continue the trend. Having finished a creditable third in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle over three miles at the Grand National meeting, it wasn’t a great surprise to see the Oscar gelding tapped for toe at the top of the home straight over five furlongs shorter at the Welsh venue 28 days ago. The way he finished off his race, however, indicated that a return to his optimum conditions would suit and with the likes of Sound Investment and Cousin Khee advertising the form of that Chepstow race subsequently, it would come as something of a disappointment if the six-year-old doesn’t go close to qualifying for the final of this series in the best possible fashion.
Our Kaempfer - 1pt @ 7/2
IVEAGH GARDENS(NAP)(best price 11/2) laughed all over Breeder’s Cup heroine Found earlier in the season and with conditions very much to suit, Charles O’Brien’s charge makes quite a bit of appeal at the prices in a what appears a wide-open listed contest. Off the track for 174 days since that easy win, she returned to action at Leopardstown two weeks ago when finishing a creditable second to the very useful Sovereign Debt in a 7f listed event, leaving the impression she may have won if she’d been a little more race-sharp. In what should turn out to be a strongly-run race courtesy of front runners Nameitwhatyoulike, Shared Equity and Ghalib in the line-up, the pace is likely to collapse in the latter stages and that where this filly will be at her most effective.