A tremendous turnout for this all-age 1m handicap in which CENTURY DREAM (best price 4-1) and TRUTH OR DARE (best price 11-1) both catch the eye. The former represents the generation that are always worth a second look in races of this nature at this time of year and following two promising performances in quality contests against his own age group earlier in the season, he arrives here courtesy of a deserved and easy victory at Doncaster last time out. Always travelling sweetly in that well-run affair on Town Moor, Simon Crisford’s inmate readily pulled clear of his four rivals to win with plenty up his sleeve, and on the evidence of that display, it’s clear that the decision to apply the hood for the first time and drop him back in trip, clearly helped him package up a complete all-round performance. Although he could have done with a better draw today, hopefully the field will become quite fragmented enough in order for him to find a slot somewhere in mid-division, and he doesn’t look a bad price considered his overall potential to be running in much tougher races later on in the campaign (already looks Cambridgeshire type).
Just Hiss advertised the speed figure he posted at York at the beginning of the month with another solid effort over the same C&D on Saturday and while he should go well again today, there’s a sneaky feeling that TRUTH OR DARE could turn the form around with his old rival and finally make a breakthrough for his new connections. A creditable third against decent opposition the time before at Redcar, James Bethell’s charge arguably posted career-best effort in that race on the Knavesmire 16 days ago and if he would have obtained a clearer passage at a crucial stage, we might be dealing with a horse who’s arriving here with a winner’s penalty. Clearly well suited by a strongly-run mile that day, the son of Invincible Spirit should have a similar set up again here this afternoon and hailing from a yard in good form, he should be capable of putting up another bold show at double-figure odds.
PATH OF SILVER (best price 7-1) arrives here on a crest of a wave and with her time figure and subsequent performances of the beaten horses of her latest victory at Tipperary all pointing towards it being very strong form, Richard Brabazon’s inmate is fancied to complete a hat-trick. Off the back of very fast fractions at the Limerick Junction venue, the daughter of Strategic Prince came with a storming run down the outside to get the better of Alans Pride and Tom Dooley and with that pair going on to fight out the finish of a similar contest at Roscommon last time, the race looks a totally believable one. Prior to that smart effort, she’d also proven her liking for tonight’s C&D with a similar late charge to the winning line, and with her young pilot, Danny Sheehy, also riding with bags of confidence at present, the combination has the look of an incredibly enticing each-way betting medium down at the foot of the weights.
CANBERRA CLIFFS (best price 4-1) travelled like the best horse in the race at Pontefract last week, but she just couldn’t quite put it to bed and was worried out the argument late on by the rallying course specialist. Mysterial. She does, however, make plenty of appeal now that she drops back down in trip and her speed figures and decent cruising speed suggest that she has all the right tools to play a significant role in the finish.
SOCIETY RANGER (NAP) (best price 15-8) always showed enough ability in his native land to suggest it was only a matter of time before things just clicked, and now he seems to have found the perfect track for his skills to be showcased, it’s no wonder connections are happy pursue further riches at his happy hunting ground. Successful on his very first visit to the Dunstall Park venue, the Bushranger gelding was even more impressive the second time when he came off the back of very strong fractions to totally dismantle his rivals in the home straight. Clearly much better than his rating of 54 on the evidence of that display, his time figures, however, also suggest a further 8lb rise may not be enough to prevent the four-year-old from keeping his unbeaten course record intact (his circuit time of 1.37.4 bettered the final laps of the 85-rated Retrieve and 82-rated Pastime respectively).