Ed Vaughan’s team are in decent shape at present and RECONCILLIATION (best price 7-2) could well give the Newmarket handler more cheer on his first start in handicap company. On his latest outing, and third to get a mark, the son of Aqlaam shaped really nicely in a well-run maiden won by Icefall at Pontefract back in July and with the winner going in again subsequently, and third home, Duck A L’Orange (beaten 28 lengths) also scoring next time, the form looks reasonably sturdy. The feature of that performance at the Yorkshire track was the way he travelled throughout the contest and with the pause that refreshes seen as a major positive regarding his chances here this afternoon, this promising type can make an immediate impact in his new discipline.
PURPLE MAGIC (NAP) (best price 2-1) clocked a smart time in landing a decent handicap at Newbury last time out and this fairly uncomplicated sort is taken to complete a hat trick for her in-form stable. Prior to that all-the-way success at the Berkshire venue, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle had put a good marker down for the rest of the season with a resounding, wide-margin victory at Catterick and now she’s proven in much strongly grade, she can be ridden with similar confidence from the front.
5.45 Down Royal
Following three winners at the two-day Killarney fixture last week and Fair Game winning last night at Tipperary, the last four runners from the Edward O’Grady yard have all won, so hopes are high that PRICKLY (best price 3-1) can continue the Co Tipperary handler’s remarkable purple patch. An easy winner on the Flat himself in that trio of victories seven days ago, the son of definite Article got back on track after a slightly below-par performance at Galway the time before, and having already proven himself over tonight’s course with a win in a bumper back in June 2015, the in-form six-year-old can add to his tally at the Northern Ireland venue on his return to hurdles.
7.15 Down Royal
A winner three starts ago at Bellewstown, MANUKA (best price 10-1) narrowly failed to add to that success at Ballinrobe last time out, but it at least went some way to suggest Karl Thornton’s charge remains in decent form and is worth another go. That most recent performance 18 days ago, albeit a sound one, left the impression he’d prefer a return to a more galloping track and with a win over tonight’s course back in March on his CV, the son of Galileo gets an immediate chance to put that theory to the test on his return visit to this 2m circuit.
Having already proven himself on a Tapeta surface courtesy of several smart performances at Wolverhampton, it probably wasn’t the biggest shock in the world that DEPTH CHARGE (best price 6-1) struck at the first time of asking on this newly-laid track and providing he’s in a similar frame of mind, there’s a decent chance he can repeat the dose. The way he moved through that soundly-run contest here 14 days ago belied his starting price of 18-1 and that ability to travel and quicken in this sort of grade is always worth plenty when the margins are so small.