DOUGAN (Best price 14-1) has threatened to land a race of this nature for much of the season and should find conditions to his liking here. A strongly-run six furlongs looks tailor-made for the selection which was noted keeping on tidily in the closing stages of a warm Ascot handicap over the minimum trip last time.
PROJECTION (Best price 11-2) shaped with immense promise on his comeback at Newmarket behind Dancing Star and, with that form looking red hot, it could be foolish to let him run unbacked. The booking of Ryan Moore is always going to make him a point or two shorter than he should be, but he is an unexposed sprinter, bred to be useful, and it could be that the handicapper has yet to catch up with him.
Given his profile over 12 furlongs, it is perhaps surprising SOLDIER IN ACTION (Best price 16-1) hasn’t spent more time over today’s trip. A smooth win at Ripon last time, beating the useful Snoano, was achieved in a sparkling time and his only defeat at a mile-and-a-half came at the hands of Red Verdon who went on to finish an unlucky sixth in the Epsom Derby. Adam Kirby, Mark Johnston and owner Alan Spence have already combined to enjoy Goodwood success this week and their chestnut colt narrowly gains the nod at the expense of Dal Harraild who wasn’t given the best tactical ride last time at Ascot.
MINDING sets an exacting standard for her four rivals who are rated in excess of 8lb inferior to the star filly. She was again extremely impressive in beating a subsequent scorer in Bocca Baciata at the Curragh last time and looks to have all the answers here. The first time visor could be the catalyst to a prominent performance from BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (Best price 3-1) who could never land a blow in the Hardwicke Stakes behind Dartmouth. The drop in trip may help her nick the forecast berth at the expense of Swiss Range who has the hood reapplied after failing to a land a blow in the French Oaks.
It has taken a while for KIMBERELLA (Best price 14-1) to gain some reward for some terrific efforts but last Saturday’s York performance suggested there could just be another big payday in Dandy Nicholls’ charge. Frannie Norton looks to have struck up a good relationship with the six-year-old who was delivered at the perfect time to score on the Knavesmire and he looks a horse in a good place at the moment.
The Newmarket handicap won by DANCING STAR (Best price 13-2) looks one to follow and she is worth a saver. Fifth-home Mont Kiara has already won since beating runner-up Priceless and Andrew Balding’s speedster looks set to make a bold bid down the middle of the track. Her course form will stand the three-year-old in good stead and she could easily follow in the hoofprints of Lochsong who won this for the yard in 1992.
The return to a fast terrain should suit LADY OF CAMELOT (Best price 10-3) who appeared to get stuck in the mud a little at Haydock in a decent Group 2. That performance was a significant step up on her previous maiden win at Leicester and her handler landed a similar event at Goodwood on Thursday.
JUMPING AROUND (Best price 6-1) made giant strides from her debut to score in ready fashion at Lingfield on her second start and the handicapper may have underestimated the level of that performance. The selection has a handy middle draw today so can track the pace either side and she bounced off the fast ground a fortnight ago to register a wide margined victory so it will be disappointing if she can’t go close on her first run in handicap company. Northern raider Appointed is one to keep an eye on in the market as she holds one or two lofty entries for later in the season so is clearly well regarded.
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