Following a 4/1 winner yesterday, Steve Ryder is back with three tips from today's action.
I very rarely have selections in classified stakes races but the Grace Harris trained MUSAYTIR (best priced at 6/1) looks overpriced based on his win in a similar event a couple of weeks ago. The five-year-old had previously dropped down the handicap to a mark of 45 where he was running from out of the handicap before winning over this course and distance last time in a classified stakes race.
Connections had fitted Musaytir with a first time visor that day which clearly helped and he won despite Gina Mangan dropping her whip 1f out. His rivals, apart from Youllovemewheniwin who finished 2nd last time, are all badly out of form and I expect Musaytir to be involved in the finish once again.
Halic will no doubt prove popular on his handicap debut but preference goes to VEGA SICILIA (best priced at 6/4) who is unexposed at this trip. The Harry & Roger Charlton trained four-year-old has form figures of 312 on the AW and he got off the mark at Wolverhampton when stepped up in trip to 1m4f for the first time on his penultimate start. He won by 2 ½ lengths that day off a mark of 76 before finishing a neck 2nd at Southwell 10 days ago.
The handicapper has raised Vega Sicilia 1lb for that effort but he instead runs here off a mark of 79 meaning that he is 1lb “well in” at the weights and I expect him to prove hard to beat in this race with James Doyle taking over from Trevor Whelan.
This looks a competitive Pertemps Qualifier but I feel IMPHAL (best priced at 12/1) is overpriced given his form on this better ground. The Gary Moore trained nine-year-old has won eight times in his career but all of those victories have come when the ground was either firm, good or good to soft. His form on ground either soft or heavy reads 444547 including when beaten 13 lengths and 32 lengths on his previous two starts on that ground.
Sandwiched between those efforts was a close 2nd at Haydock on good ground so he clearly likes this better surface. A few of these will already be guaranteed a run at the Cheltenham Festival so they may only be looking to qualify but Imphal, off a mark of 117, has no chance of getting into the race so he should be running on its merits. With up to four places available I feel he should be able to outrun his odds.