HAMELIN(best price 9/2) is developing into a useful all-weather performer and looks to have every chance of providing rookie trainer George Scott with his first winner since taking out a license. Understudy to Lady Cecil for the last two seasons, the young Newmarket handler was very much the driving force behind several notable successes at Warren Place towards the backend of the last campaign, with winners such as Shaden, Western Point and Illusive all placed to good effect by the 27-year-old. Hamelin himself has also been the beneficiary of his skills in recent times and based on his last two efforts, the son of Cape Cross should make a bold fist of things here this evening. His latest performance when just touched off by the useful Missed Call was another solid display by the five-year-old - who, in-turn, took his polytrack record to 1212 – and with another aggressive ride looking on the cards, he will once again prove a touch nut to crack at the head of affairs.
Hamelin - 1pt e/w @ 9/2
HAT ALNASAR(best price 10/3) doesn’t have to lead in his races, but he’s probably at his best when able to dominate and that was something he couldn’t do after being tardy from the boxes over this course the other night. He did, however, run really well under the circumstances and on the evidence of that performance, Michael Halford’s charge still remains in splendid form. Despite racing on the slowest part of the track down the lane, he finished a creditable third to the bang in-form pair Political Policy and Reckless Lad in a keenly-contested 1m handicap, and as the time of the race was one of the fastest furlong-per-furlong performances at the Dundalk carnival so far this winter, the effort deserves even more praise. Prior to that excellent display, the son of Moss Vale posted another decent figure in making all the running under top weight and if he can break with his usual efficiency from the favoured inside draw, this strong galloper will take some pegging back from the front.
Hat Alnasar - 2pts @ 10/3
The last time LANCELOT DU LAC(best price 3/1) raced in a handicap in this country he made mincemeat of a mark of 103, so with the assessor giving Dean Ivory’s charge a huge chance by dropping 2lb since his last run, the class act of the race can make his quality tell. A winner of a conditions race on his last visit to tonight’s track back in October off a rating of 108, the son of Shamardal has done nothing wrong in two subsequent pattern races to suggest he deserves any leniency, so he should be backed to take advantage of his revised mark of 105 at a track where he has a fine record.