ONE WORD MORE (best price 9-1) has racked up a fine series of performances over this course in recent times and another bold show looks on the cards if he can run somewhere near his best form. A slightly unlucky fifth in this race last year behind Chil The Kite, Tim Easterby’s inmate posted another big effort on the figures when third behind Always Smile and Convey at the Dante meeting back in May and a repeat of that level of form alone should be good enough to see him right in the mix. His latest display when getting no run whatsoever to be a never-nearer seventh in the big mile contest at Goodwood last time only serves to highlight his current wellbeing and he rates a decent each-wat bet at his early quotes.
John Gosden often pulls a rabbit out of the hat in these kind of events with a filly who has seemingly plenty to find on the bare figures and TO ETERNITY (best price 6-1) could well turn out to be another feather in the cap for the Newmarket handler. Unlucky not to get off the mark at the first time of asking at Doncaster back in June, only lack of tactical knowhow prevented her from going one place better next time out at Nottingham. Justifying her cramped odds with the minimum of fuss at Wolverhampton last time out should give her just the sort of confidence she needs now she steps into a totally different examination, but with plenty of improvement likely and opposition not exactly looking like world-beaters, it would come as no surprise to see the daughter of Galileo punch above her weight.
Unluckily disqualified for carrying the wrong weight when finishing first past the post over tonight’s C&D back in June, ABRAHAM (best price 6-1) is taken to make amends for that unfortunate incident on his return visithernando. Placed on each of his three starts since, the son of Hernando posted a career-high performance when staying strongly to grab second in the big 1m 4f premier handicap at the Galway Festival recently and he rates a solid each-way choice based on that level of form.
A string of seconds next to a horse’s name usually spells danger, but in the case of EXCELLENT TEAM (NAP) (best price 7-4) it’s just been a case of him being unlucky rather than any malice attached to his make-up. His latest performance, for instance, highlights his recent plight as he ran as well as he ever has before, but he had the misfortune to bump into the smart Flat recruit, Taper Tantrum, who jumped superbly on his debut over hurdles and just did him for toe in the latter stages. Indeed, on closer inspection of the time figures the front two produced that day, Dan Skelton’s charge, himself, ran way beyond a horse of his current rating of 110 and now quickly launched into handicap company for the first time by shrewd connections to exploit that lenient mark, a similar forceful ride should reap rewards this time around for the son of Teofilo.