14:45 Wolverhampton

STARNBERG (NAP) (best price 5/2) has shaped with a huge amount of promise on both starts to date and being the one of today’s field who easily has the most upside going forward, Richard Hannon’s colt rates a strong choice to make it third time lucky. 

Sent off 14/1 for his debut at Ascot, the son of Clodovil took a little while to find his stride after being bumped coming out of the stalls and, like quite a few around him at halfway, he struggled to go with the surprisingly strong pace. He did, however, pick up nicely once finding his top stride inside the final two furlongs and he ended up finishing a creditable third behind the potentially very smart colt, Defence Of Fort, who surely will make the grade in pattern company. 

On to Sandown for his latest encounter although he may have disappointed to a degree by getting beaten nine lengths, the bare result doesn’t tell the whole story. Posted out widest of all at the Esher venue, his pilot had no alternative in trying to negate the draw by pushing forward in to the first corner, but in doing so, his mount ended up getting lit up once drawing alongside Lisboa, another who clearly wanted to make the running. With the pair intent on taking charge, the two eye-balled each other for the thick end of half a mile, so it was almost inevitable they were going to pay for their early exertions in the latter part of the race. True to form, Starnberg couldn’t react once the more patient ridden Flying Honours breezed up alongside, but at least he did show plenty of battling qualities to hold firm for second which, under the circumstances, wasn’t a bad effort. 

After looking as though he may require further than seven-furlongs on his opening salvo, it’s easy to see why connections have come to the conclusion he will be just as well suited by dropping back in trip for the time being given the speed he displayed 12 days ago. Handily draw in stall one, he has the perfect opportunity to beat his two main market rivals to the early punch (Mutaany has to contend with stall 10) and providing Sam Hitchcott gets the fractions right up front, the combination is likely to prove hard to beat.

Starnberg - 3pts @ 5/2

18:44 Ripon

LILY OF THE JUNGLE (best price 11/4) may have only landed a seller here last time but the speed figure she produced was such she deserves to be rated a good deal higher, and from a draw that could turn out to be quite advantageous given the way she dominated 23 days ago, a copy and paste performance isn’t out of the equation from Philip Kirby’s filly. 

Fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time at the Yorkshire track, the daughter of Bungle Inthejungle was ridden with plenty of intent from her outside post and after managing to get over to the favoured nearside rail, she set a pace that was too hot to handle for her five opponents. Brought back connections in the post-race auction, they were quite right to try and hold onto a filly who had won in such fashion and even though today’s contest represents a totally different proposition in terms of quality, a good break from her draw right next to the stands’ side rail should give her a nice early advantage she can build on. 

Lily in the Jungle - 1pt @ 11/4