PROMISING (Best price 7-1) is yet to win a race, but she didn’t enjoy the best of passages at Newbury last time and could be worth chancing at a price to justify some lofty entries later in the season. Her debut experience of today’s venue should stand her in good stead and it appears significant her yard are happy to plunge a maiden into a race of this nature.
A lengthy list of possibles for this fiendishly difficult handicap and CERTIFICATE (Best price 5-1) can only be a hopeful choice, narrowly ahead of Nuno Tristan, Withernsea and course specialist Shady McCoy who has a major chance if his wide stall is no bar to success. I was present to see Certificate pulverise his Doncaster rivals last time and that victory came when a lot of his stablemates were running below par. The manner in which he quickened clear of a reliable and talented collection of handicappers suggested he is still improving and he gains the nod at the expense of the Richard Fahey pair Nuno Tristan and Withernsea.
There is little doubt PLATITUDE (Best price 3-1) can throw in the odd shocker, indeed he disappointed at this track last time, but he is worth another chance if ridden with a little more restraint. His previous effort in a Newmarket Group 3 would be good enough to see him go close in this company and it appeared he was in the heat of battle for too long last time. He isn't one for weighty stakes but has enough ability and talent to be involved in a race where solid recent form is at a paucity.
THIKRIYAAT (Best price 15-8) and Zonderland are two upwardly mobile three-year-olds who arrive here in form and preference is narrowly for the former who impressed in a course and distance Group 3 last time. The former lengthened well to get on top close home that day, displaying the tenacity which is becoming a trademark of his career. A beating of Forge reads better than Zonderland’s two-length defeat of Master The World at Salisbury and it will be disappointing if he can't continue his progression.
Backers of PENWORTHAM (Best price 10-1) need to forgive an abysmal effort at Epsom last time, but the selection failed to handle the track that day and is worth a chance to bounce back. It looks as though Tony Hamilton prefers the ride on stablemate Drifting Spirit who is becoming nicely handicapped and is rated a chief danger. However, the selection had looked on the upgrade prior to his Epsom aberration and his price appeals today.
KNIGHTS TABLE (Best price 7-1) and the tenacious Real Dominion are two three-year-olds seriously considered here along with the lightly-raced Walpole who posted a gritty effort to win at Ripon. Knights Table couldn’t lay a glove on Fire Fighting at this venue last time but that was his best effort of the season on the clock and he clearly remains feasibly handicapped and in good form.
EASTERN IMPACT (Best price 3-1) may be arriving on the back of two defeats but he has often saved his best for the July Course and was only beaten four lengths in the Group One July Cup three starts back. He may be fresher than some and enjoys a wonderful relationship with Jack Garrity so must surely run well following an honourable effort in Ireland last time when he beat a number of talented Irish speedsters.
Plenty of in-form sprinters in opposition here which makes life tricky, but LINE OF REASON (Best price 11-2) has won his sole start at the track and shaped well in a highly competitive York handicap last time. His stable has enjoyed a good week with the odd winner while a number of stablemates have run positive races so the six-year-old is fancied to emerge on top at the expense of Muthmir.
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