I’m hopeful the winner could hail from South Shropshire though and, although grid links FLASHJACK needs to prove his stamina at today’s trip, he won going away at Towcester last time and has won twice on stiff, right-handed tracks. Henry Daly’s charge has posted a couple of decent circuit times this season and the booking of Richard Johnson appears a statement of intent. Stablemate Will O’The West is another to consider after his game Warwick success.
Bold Prediction (narrow conqueror of Si Senor at Lingfield) is another with a fine course record and maybe dangerous if getting to the front from his wide berth.
Supersta beat subsequent winner Dougan here two starts ago and will appreciate the prospect of a decent gallop, while Keystroke and Energia Flavio should be monitored in the market.
Relax was still going well enough when crashing out at Newbury last time and could be considered a little unlucky that day, while the first-time cheekpieces may sharpen the mind of Bertie Boru who has claims providing he doesn’t get too far behind.
In contrast, Chookie Royale has been kept busy through the winter and he may appreciate the return to seven furlongs after a series of good efforts over shorter. His course figures read 1112113241. The presence of Kelinni, well draw for a front runner, should ensure there is a decent pace to run at, especially if he is taken on at the head of affairs by recent Lingfield scorer Mister Universe.
The selection was still occupying that position when turning for home, but picked off rivals to finish a highly-creditable fourth in a race where it paid to sit close to the pace (winner Agrapart and runner-up Starchitect were prominent throughout). Like the last 10 winners of this race, Affaire D’Honneur holds an entry at Cheltenham next week and connections may be tempted to have a tilt at the £100,000 bonus on offer for winning today’s contest and at the festival if he were to prove successful.
Heavy ground lover Sirop De Menthe could also take a hand if he is ridden with a little more restraint than of late.