KASPERENKO (best price 7-1) ran a race full of promise on debut in a decent maiden at Ascot and he should turn out to be a much more potent force 21 days on with just normal improvement. Too green to do himself total justice at the Berkshire track, David Lanigan’s charge, however, was noted doing some good late work without being subjected to a hard ride and that kindness, along with an extra furlong to race, should see the son of Archipenko right in the thick of the action this time around.
Having already advertised the solid claims of Spark Plug in a previous ante-post column, the wisest move would be to have a back-up plan just in case the wheels fall off the main selection and in the shape of EXAMINER (best price 20-1), Stuart Williams’ charge rates a more than able deputy. A close-up third to Third Time Lucky last year (best of the high draw), one would imagine connections have had this race very firmly in their sights ever since and the way he’s been campaign so far this term does nothing to dispel that theory. Just three runs in the interim period means that the son of Excellent Art arrives here a fresh horse and having finally got his just rewards for many decent performances on turf when last seen at Epsom in June, confidence is high that the reliable five-year-old can run another huge race over a track and trip that clearly suits his run-style.
REALT MOR (NAP) (best price 11-2) was still going well when capsizing with about a mile to run in the Kerry National at Listowel last time out and although that was a bitter blow to connections at the time, that fall may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise regarding his prospects of landing this easier-looking prize. Prior to that unfortunate incident, Gordon Elliot’s inmate had exhibited some of his old swagger when scoring in tidy fashion at Ballinrobe and providing he’s suffered no ill-effects from that tumble 10 days ago, he has enough class dish out a lesson to inferior rivals.
SOPHISTICATED HEIR (best price 5-1) was nothing short of a revelation when dropped back to 6f at Wolverhampton last time out and if he can translate that sort of performance back to turf, Michael Herrington’s inmate will be very hard to beat. The feature of that display at the Dunstall Park venue was the way he travelled off very strong fractions and that sort of cruising speed is often a vital ingredient to success at today’s venue. Nicely berthed in trap 3, he should get a nice tow into the business courtesy of the usual pace the runners often generate at this pace-orientated track and providing he’s within striking distance rounding the home bend, the son of New Approach should have enough time to gather his thoughts and get into top gear.
DUKE COSIMO (best price 10-1) arrives here in great order having fared best of those from a high stall in the Bronze Cup at Ayr last week and having run well on his two previous visits to today’s track, another solid effort looks on the cards. Last with two furlongs to run at the Scottish venue eight days ago, Michael Harrington’s charge had to give up plenty of ground in order to obtain a clear run down the far side so in the circumstances he did amazingly well to finish as close as he did. Nicely draw down the middle today with plenty of pace to shoot at, the son of Pivotal has the ideal conditions to follow up his victory earlier in the season at Ripon.
Given his poor draw and the way he got messed about mid-race, SHADY MCCOY (best price 10-1) did really well to finish as close-up as he did in a hot handicap at Goodwood last time out and having already proven himself over today’s C&D twice over, he rates a decent each-way bet at the morning prices. Prior to that slightly unlucky episode at the Sussex track last time, Ian Williams’ charge had scored in pretty convincing style at the same venue at the big meeting in July and his trademark turn of foot which he exhibited that day could well turn out be a significant factor this time around.