The way that most races on the dirt at this track have developed throughout the carnival suggests there’s a massive advantage to be drawn low and be ridden prominently, so with that in mind, the two that stand out in the first big Group race of the evening are MARKING (best price 13/8)
and ONE MAN BAND (best price 10/1)
. The former carried a huge reputation on his shoulders into his first assignment on the carnival, but unfortunately disaster struck as Kiaran McLaughlin’s charge got rid of his pilot after dipping badly coming out of the stalls. The son of Bernardini made no mistake at the second time of asking and given that the trip that evening was short of his best, it’s not difficult to see this strong galloper making a huge leap forward back over his optimum distance. The latter takes a little more explaining, but at the same time, he could well turn out to be the fly in the ointment if he jumps well and holds the kerb from the one box through the early exchanges.
Although he wouldn’t be in the same class as some of these, Doug Watson’s charge has punched above his weight several times at the carnival when he’s been able to dominate, and the only time he’s been beaten here in his last five starts was when he missed the break from a wide draw and burnt himself out getting to the front.