Afjaan might well be a cut above these, but if ever he was going to be vulnerable it’ll be after a 240-day layoff and with that in mind, GOTHIC EMPIRE (best price 6-1) appeals as the most likely beneficiary should the favourite bomb out. James Fanshawe’s charge ran well from bad draw two starts ago at Kempton and that effort set him nicely for his latest performance at Yarmouth – in which he wound up an impressive eight-length winner. Always travelling well down at the seaside track, the son of Dark Angel powered well clear in the closing stages to score in a fast time and even though today’s contest clearly represents a significant step up in class, he has the tools to prove equal to the task.
MAGNETIC FORCE (NAP) (best price 5-2) can be a little difficult to predict, but there was no getting away from how easily he brushed aside similar opponents to those he faces this afternoon at Cork the last day, it’s just a simple case of whether he’s in the same vein of form. Off the back of sound fractions set by the front-running Carlowsantana, Robbie Hennessy’s inmate cruised to the front approaching two out and once given the office from that juncture, he bounded clear to score with any amount in hand. Taking a closer look at his performance via his numbers that evening, the son of Verglas ran the last circuit only 1.2 seconds slower than the 145-rated Simenon, so based on those findings, he clearly has a tremendous opportunity to follow up that success running over a track where his form figures read 1341344.
Having had loads of chances to get off the mark, the untrustworthy Blessed King simply has to be taken on at the prices and second favourite, EMMA BEAG (best price 9-4), looks the one to stick another hole into the favourite’s ever-sinking ship. Runner-up in her last two starts, her latest effort when chasing home the progressive Red Giant at Wexford reads well as a solid piece of maiden form, and given that she appears to stay well, today’s stiff uphill climb from two out should play right into her strengths.