Saturday, 24 September 2011

Who won the medals at Ayr ?

This post was first published on Wednesday 21st September 2011 on my word press site.

Well last weekend we had the three divisions of the Ayr Gold Cup.
The bronze cup was won by the Richard Fahey trained Coolminx by a short head from his stablemate Jeannie Galloway with 1/2 length back to David Nicholls Esprit De Midas and a further 2 1/2 lengths back to the fast finishing Mandalay King in fourth.
The first two came from opposite sides of the track and Fahey had said pre race that he was happy with all of his horses and that more rain wouldnt be a problem. Jeannie Galloway although second could be considered unlucky as she was finishing like a train and was only just denied. Esprit De Midas had shown form on soft when with his last trainer and it was expected that he would run well under these conditions albeit the Nicholls stable hadnt been in good form of late but you can always count on them at this meeting as they had won 3 silver cups and 6 gold cups previously.
After the race Fahey said that both horses had been unlucky at York last time and that he didnt think that there was much between them. Jeannie Galloway went on to win a 6 runner Class 3 handicap at Hamilton on Sunday off the same mark.
The time of the race was 1m 13.76s.
After some heavy rain the going was changed from Good to Soft to Soft on Saturday.
The Silver Cup went the way of Soft ground lover Cheveton who stepped up on his win in the Bronze Cup last season off a 2lb higher mark by making all up the stands rail and he takes some beating when he is in form on a soft surface and Dale Swift is now 3-3 on him and the stable are anxious to book him for this weekend wherever Cheveton runs be it Haydock or Ripon. In second was Marvellous Value beaten half a length with Advanced (2007 Gold Cup winner) who came down the middle of the track on his own another 1 1/4 lengths behind in third. Mass Rally stayed on well into fifth, his last two runs over 6f have been encouraging and he looks sure to go one better soon. Over on the far side Bertiewhittle was first home in his group, it was a good performance for a 3yo and being with David Barron its unlikely we have seen the best of him. Fathsta was dissapointing as he had his ground and was well weighted on previous form, maybe he's had one race too many this season.
Cheveton was raised 7lb to 93, Marvellous Value 2lb to 92, Advanced 1lb to 90 and Mass Rally 1lbto 88. Bertiewhittle remains on a mark of 90.
The time of the race was 1m 16.17s
The Gold Cup came up next and Our Jonathan won convincingly by 2 lengths from the improved Eton Rifles with 1 1/2 lengths back to Son of the Cat (Stewards Cup consolation winner) in third and last years Silver Cup winner Colonal Mak in 4th, the fast finishing and enigmatic Pastoral Player was back in 5th.
Often the winner of this race has won over 7f previously(50f last 10 winners) and Our Jonathan had also done just that having won at Chester over 7f in May and as soon as Norton got a sniff of winning he was very strong in getting him home. The owner Marwan Koukash will have a chance to double up again with a win at Ascot after Redford did the same double for him last season .
Our Jonathan had been a Group race winner at 2 so he has always had the class to win a race of this nature and he had been showing consistent form all season and he had also been going well at home recently. He was drawn next to Pepper Lane who had beaten him in the Great St Wilfrid and Ryan had said if he had been drawn earlier at the draw ceremony on Thursday that he would have chosen a higher stall number than 12, so that could have made all the difference. Previous winners of the race have gone on to better things and it can be anticipated that he will do so also as he became only the second of the last 15 winners to carry more than 9st 3lb to victory. He has now been raised 9lb to a mark of 114.
Eton Rifles, also a 7f winner, has come on a fair way since moving to David Elsworth and it wasnt long ago that Howard Johnson his previous trainer was considering a hurdling career for him, although he may still get there with Elsworth a top trainer under both codes. This was Eton Rifles ground and plenty knew it as his price was smashed into right down to 6/1 at the off . He improved on his sixth placing in last seasons bronze cup and he has been raised 4lb to a mark of 106.
Brian Gubby had been worried pre race about the going being too soft for Son of the Cat and he ran a good race in the circumstances to finish third and he remains on the same mark of 99. Colonel Mak also stays on 99.
The time of the race was 1m 15.35s, nearly a second faster than the Silver Cup.

Friday, 16 September 2011

You can rain on my Parade !

Well today's races gave us a few clues in that you need to be drawn near the rail on either side and its probably better to be up with the pace. Plenty of rain hit the track this afternoon and looking on the rainfall radar site there is some more to come by the looks of it and it will hit the west coast.
I think you should be looking for horses who like some cut as Esprit De Midas who needs just that ran well to finish second today in the Bronze Cup.
Looking at the Silver Cup, some of those drawn near the rail on each side and who have shown a preference for soft are :-
23 - ELUSIVE PRINCE - Won on Good to Soft LTO and still on same mark
22 - MIRZA - Acts on Soft, beaten by last years winner last time out.
21 - CHEVETON - Loves Soft, 5lb below last winning mark.
7 - SIOUX RISING - Ran well on Good to Soft LTO and just in front of Jeannie Galloway, 2nd in Bronze
4 - BERTIEWHITTLE - Won on Soft, stays 7f, Fran Berry booked
3 - PARISIAN PYRAMID - Ran ok with cut in ground
1 - EDINBURGH KNIGHT - Won on Good to Soft, travels well, still feasibly weighted and lightly raced.
Of the others you would have to be looking at Fathsta who is very consistent in this type of race, he is well weighted on his soft ground form and De Sousa always gets a good tune out of him and Nasri who David Nicholls is very keen on and would probably have been very dissapointed he didnt make the Gold Cup and his horses always run well here as we saw yesterday.
Any of these could win though and my shortlist would be Edinburgh Knight, Fathsta, Cheveton and Sioux Rising.
The Gold Cup gets underway at 3.20 and doing the same again in this race ie highlighting the ones with chances near each rail and a liking for soft we have the following :-
27 - REGAL PARADE - Winner of 2 Group 1's on Good to Soft, stays 7f, choice of Adrian Nicholls.
25 - ANNE OF KIEV - 4th on Soft in Wokingham, 3lb lower now.
23 - BELOW ZERO - Won on Soft, Fran Berry won on him twice recently and rides again.
22 - PASTORAL PLAYER - 3rd on Soft in Wokingham behind Deacon Blues and Waffle, 2lb lower.
7 - CROISULTAN - Irish raider, form on Soft/Heavy, ran well LTO behind Bewitched and Definightly.
5 - MAYSON - Won on Good to Soft, choice of Hanagan and ran well LTO.
4 - KALDOUN KINGDOM - Won Silver Cup in 2009, ran well last time and back after break.
1 - CASTLES IN THE AIR - Stays 7f and 5lb below last winning mark.
Of the others you would have to be looking at Macs Power, Hawkeyethenoo, Eton Rifles and Waffle and my shortlist of 4 would be Regal Parade, Pastoral Player, Croisultan and Waffle.
There's the small matter of a Group 3 over at Newbury but its a Group 1 in all but name, Deacon Blues has risen through the ranks and was simply blistering last time in Ireland and if he comes here in the same mood its hard to see him getting beat, but he has a good oppo in Night Carnation.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Who will get the Bronze Medal ?

Ayr stages the first of the three Cup races on Friday afternoon at 3.55, the ground is currently described as Good to Soft, Soft in places. 27 runners go to post for the third running of this 6f dash and at this course you invariably need a horse that can stay 7f. Baldemar won the race in 2009 but the next year he was fourth from last in the race won by confirmed soft ground lover Cheveton who incidentally makes the cut for the Silver Cup this time around. The stands side was the place to be last season and only time will tell if that is to be the case again and the preceeding 5f handicap make give us some clues on that, but I have to come up with a shortlist for the race so we shall press on.
Mon Brav is still 5lb higher than his last win and seems to have gone off the boil a bit although he probably has a good draw in 27. David Nicholls hasnt been in great from of late but you can usually rely on him here and his son partners Esprit De Midas, who will appreciate any cut in the ground, has won over 7f in the past and is on the same mark as when winning at Haydock last season by 1 1/2 lengths from Lochan Mor when in the care of Kevin Ryan. The stable also has Karaka Jack who has also won over 7f and being drawn in the middle of the pack he has the option of going either way when the gates open. They also run Amenable who features in my "Horses to Follow" section and who ran his best race of the season last time out when a half length 2nd to Valery Borzov and Andrew Mullen keeps the ride.
David Barron is usually well represented in these big sprints, he had Beat the Bell (runs in the earlier 5f race this time) finish 7th in this last year from a poor draw on the day, he won the Silver Cup with Colonel Mak and he was 4rd with Hitchens in the Gold Cup. He runs La Zamora (22/1) and Amazing Amoray (28/1) in this and the latter is a 3y0 that has only run 4 times to date but she has the assistance of Lee Newman who has a better strike rate for the stable than Graham Gibbons who is on the other. La Zamora tends to run a good race, a bad one and then a good one and tomorrow she is due another good one. She was unlucky when 4th at Haydock a couple of runs ago when missing the break and was probably the eyecatcher of the race and she can run off a pound less in the handicap tomorrow.
Looking through the rest they all dont inspire me that much apart from the 10/1 fav Layla's Hero(stall 25) and it could be that if anything just has a good day they could win and it might really be down to the draw for this as that little bit could be enough to get one of them home in front. Im going to side with the higher numbers and I would suggest backing both the Barron horses ew and the fav to win.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Speed Kings to steal show !

Fathsta ran quite well on Day 3 of the Doncaster meeting, he ran on well towards the finish under Spencer to finish 3rd and had there maybe have been some cut he may have won. Kanaf didnt run that well in comparison though and could not get to grips with the pacemaker and then when asked to make his effort he appeared to wander before fading and on that showing you wouldnt be too keen to keep him on your shortlist for these competitive handicaps.
On Saturday we have the Portland Handicap over 5 1/2 furlongs at Doncaster and with 22 runners going to post in doesnt get any easier. The fav is Zero Money based on his win last week at Haydock when he put up a time comparable with the Group 1 sprint, so another performance of that calibre would see him go close. This is a very competitive race though and he wont get things as easy in front and he is sure to be taken on by Verinco who also showed bags of dash last Sunday over 6f at York when he set the race up for Internationaldebut. He remains on the same mark of 93 and having only lost the lead in the last 50 yards this 5 1/2 trip could be right up his street and 25/1 is an excellent ew price for a horse that has been in the first 3 for 8 of his 10 races this season and Royston French takes over the steering.
Im not going to go into every horse in the race as it would take me a few hours to do so but Addictive Dream at 20/1 is another that has run some good races this season and is capable of winning a race of this type and it would be great boost for Walter Swinburn if he did. The stable have gone to the trouble of booking Frankie Dettori who has been riding as well as ever at here this week. He is still 6lb higher than for his win at Ripon but that was a convincing win and it gave you food for thought that he could go on and do something but to date he hasnt.
Dungannon, Waffle and Ancient Cross are others that appeal and look sure to be in the mix at the finish and really you know as well as I know that these big sprint handicaps are very tight and in reality any of the field could win on their day.
Over at Chester there are a couple of divisions of the 5f handicap at 2.00 and 4.45 and in the second of those bertoliver is well drawn in stall 3 for a horse that has won the Epsom Dash and he has run well here in the past winning two when he made all from stalls 7 and 2. Those wins were off 90 and 81 and his win in the Dash in 2010 was off 83, so the fact that he is now down to 77 and Ryan Clarke takes off a further 3lb gives you encouragement this may be his day. One who may give him a run for his money though is Lucky Dan who goes well off a fast pace and Paul Green his trainer never fails for lack of trying at this track.
Goodwood sees 10 runners for the Listed Sprint over 6f and Markab has his sights set lower for his first race out of Group company since 2009 and he is still a very capable performer despite his 8 years. Monsieur Chevalier and Son of the Cat are two that will give him plenty to do and the young pretender Desert Law is still open to plenty of improvement for his talented trainer.
Plenty to get excited about then overall and I will be having a couple of bets on Verinco ew and Bertoliver to win.
Good Luck !

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Day 3 at Donny !

Well we have a good run of results the last few days, what with Dream Ahead winning at the weekend, Haajes winning yesterday at 9/1 and Internationaldebut following up his last win at 7/1 today, (advised ew at 14's on Wednesday evening) we have had a good run.
Tomorrow there is a decent Class 2 Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs and Kanaf who has run some good races in defeat has a chance to get back on the winners podium. Richard Hills has seemed to find all the wrong places to be on this horse lately and his runs in the Stewards Cup when 5th of 27 and at York when 5th again can go down as being unlucky as he should have finished closer than he did in both. He is up another 3lb but his run in the Stewards Cup is worth that alone and it wont have any effect on his performance here. He is entered in the Ayr Gold Cup and if he does win this you can expect to his price of 14/1 for that to come down into single figures.
The other one of interest for me would be Fathsta who keeps running well in these big sprints and he gets the assistance of Jamie Spencer. He was only beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Internationaldebut over 6f last Sunday when finishing well from off the pace and that winner has won again today by 2 1/2 lengths off a 6lb higher mark. Fathsta won a competitive sprint at York last October off a mark of 94 by 3 1/4 lengths on Soft and he runs in this off 91. He was 6th behind Deacon Blues in the Wokingham off a mark of 98, 3rd to Brae Hill off 94 in the Bunbury Cup and 4th to Hoof It again on 94 in the Sky Bet Dash at York so his chance cant be far away on 91. He was unlucky in the Stewards Cup and the Great St Wilfrid so they can be forgiven. He has to be held up so the booking of Spencer ticks that box and and he's drawn in the middle of the field. so the only downside would be that it isnt soft ground.
So there you have it they are my two against the field at 5/1 and 9/1 respectively.

Winner after winner !

I sometimes wonder if anyone actually follows my selections as I get very little feedback, but Ive been on a decent run of results this last week with Dream Ahead winning at 5/1 in the Sprint Cup, Haajes winning at 9/1 yesterday and today my ew saver selection Internationaldebut winning at 7/1 (advised at 14/1).

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hughes to pounce on Barnet Fair !

Internationaldebut has a quick chance to follow up his win in the 4.10 at Doncaster on Thursday over 6f. He is on top weight of 9.9 with his 6lb penalty for his in form trainer Paul Midgley who won with his only runner Haajes on Wednesday, as picked by this blog, and this is his only runner today. His trainer had this to say after his win at York on Sunday “Internationaldebut works so well at home it´s unbelievable. It´s the first time he´s won for us, but he has earned plenty of place money. The faster they go the better, and he´ll run again at Doncaster on Thursday”. He looks set for another good run and 14/1 is worth having an ew saver on.
Richard Hughes is an interesting booking for Barnet Fair and we can expect to see him sitting quiet waiting to produce his mount at the right point and if he is not beset by his usual slow start I can see him going close too. Barnet Fair has run 3 good races at Newmarket and a similar performance could be good enough in this.
Dimension is related to Spacious and is lightly raced for Fanshawe, Fallon is booked to do the steering and they are 5-15 when thev’ye teamed up this year. Farlow too has little miles on the clock and this pair of 3yo’s will be there or thereabouts at the business end of the race. Farlow is out of Emly Express who is also the dam of another of todays rivals Damika who won the Great St Wilfrid in 2010 off a 4lb lower mark than he is on today and the cheek pieces are back on.
Its another big field sprint though and I may take a chance on Richard Hughes getting the best out of Barnet Fair and I wouldnt put anyone off putting a few of the above together in a perm tricast.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Midweek Sprint Action at Doncaster

The Scarborough Stakes at 3.10 over 5f sees 12 runners line up for this Listed Race at Doncaster. The field is headed by the speedy Captain Dunne who wont have any problem in performing with 9-9 and he is effective on most going apart from heavy. He has certainly stepped up this year and his win in the Epsom Dash off a mark of 105 was backed up by his run in the Nunthorpe were he was only beaten 3 1/4 lengths into 7th behind Margot Did. Next time at Beverley he could only finish 4th 1 1/2 lengths behind Tangerine Trees, but he didnt have a lot of room there and was probably a shade unlucky. He should run his race and he is likely to be thereabouts at the finish.
Group Therapy needs a fast pace and he is likely to get that here so expect to see him come with a wet sail at the end, Whether he gets there is another matter as he has finished behind Masamah on 2 occasions and he is a similar sort to Captain Dunne.
Humidor was entered to run at Leicester yesterday but was pulled out and comes here instead, however in that he would have had the assistance of Fallon but he rides Shoshoni Wind for Kevin Ryan in this. Humidor ran a good race in third behind Night Carnation at Sandown and they had the Nunthorpe winner Margot Did behind in fourth. He finished behind Masamah at Goodwood but if he were to reproduce his Sandown run he wouldnt be too far away.
Medicean Man has won 3 of his 5 races at Ascot and it is a matter of can he perform better somewhere else. His trainer thinks he is open to further improvement and he will need to be as he is 7lb worse off with Duchess Dora for a half length defeat of her in a Class 2 Handicap at Ascot.
DIinkum Diamond was an excellent 3rd in the Abernant only a 1/4 of a length behind Genki, he was a 5 length second to Margot Did at Sandown and was just 1/2 a length behind Tangerine Trees last time when 3rd just in front of Captain Dunne. He has only had 11 starts to date and he may still be open to improvement.
I cant see Stone of Folca being involved whereas Anne of Kiev has done nothing but improve this season and is a credit to connections. She was 4th in the Abernant and also 4th in the Wokingham behind Deacon Blues but her last two runs havent been too good and maybe she is feeling the effects of a long year although she often surprises when you least expect.
Breathless Kiss has been running in similar races to most of the others but whereas they have been finishing in the places she has been finishing mid division and it is unlikely things will be any different here.
Duchess Dora started the season on 87 and is now on 102 but is still at the top of her game and she hasnt been out of the first 3 on her last five runs and the latest of those was at Beverley when she was quarter of a length second to Tangerine Trees with Dinkum Diamond and Captain Dunne behind. It is not out of the question that she can improve again and she is weighted to finish in front of the two behind her at Beverley although Captain Dunne was unlucky and she is also weigthed to get the better of Medicean Man on their Ascot running.
Aneedah runs for John Gosden and although you cant ignore any of his horses at this time of the year she doesnt look like she has the form in the book to win something like this and you will be relying on William Buick to conjure up some magic.
Im not sure why Fallon is on Shoshoni Wind and she doesnt seem to have the form to win this and I think this entry is more about Hambleton racing than the abilty of the horse although I may be made to eat my own words.
Bear Behind is interesting as he has to carry a stone less than everything else in the race and was 2nd in a Listed Race at Deauville last time out after setting a good pace and he could be in the shakeup despite his lack of experience.
In another tricky sprint I will go for Captain Dunne who was unlucky last time out, he has shown consistent form this season and he deserves to get his head in front again as there arent many speedier than him and Dinkum Diamond and Duchess Dora can follow him home.
In the 5.20 a total of 22 runners go to post for the 5f Class 4 Handicap and the race looks like a minefield for punters, although if I had to whittle it down to a few I would be looking at Haajes, whose trainer Paul Midgley is having a fine run of form and Lost in Paris.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Lets live the Dream !

Haydock is my local track and I hope to be paying a visit there tomorrow afternoon on what promises to be a top days racing and four of the races will be shown on tv for those not able to attend.
The main race of the day is of course The Sprint Cup run over 6f at 3.35 and 16 are due to go to post for this Group 1 prize. All the usual suspects take their place and it will be a fascinating renewal with Hoof It trying to bridge the Handicap/Group race divide. He will not however have the benefit of Fallon who is at Ascot tomorrow and the very able Graham Gibbons gets the call.
The going is good and after a dry sunny day in the North West, but the times of the races today wouldnt make you think it was fast going and if any rain does arrive, which as I write looks a distinct possibility before the evening is out then Delegator and Sole Power may well be pulled out.
Lets have a look through the field then and see who we think will be leading them all home.
BATED BREATH - Back to a more comfortable 6f for him and he has winning form at the track with two of his five wins coming here. His trainer says he is the best sprinter he has ever trained and he will have the chance to prove that here having been second to Dream Ahead in the July Cup at Newmarket, but any cut in the ground could scupper his cahnces.
DALGHAR - Hasnt really fired for the Balding stable since moving from France and although he runs well enough he doesnt seem to have that spark that will bag him a Group 1 and a hood is tried here for the first time.
DELEGATOR - The class act gets something like his ground providing the forecast rain doesnt arrive too soon, his trainer had this to say about him today "The ground is crucial for Delegator - he needs fast ground - and I am hoping that he will get his conditions at Haydock Park. He has been working well and I am looking to see him run a better race over a trip that suits him."
DONCASTER ROVER - Is probably not good enough for this although he was only beaten a head by Genki in June, however I would imagine its more of a day out for the team.
GENKI - Third in this last year behind Markab and the likelyhood is he wont do much better this time around although he is an admirable old horse.
HITCHENS - Decent handicapper last season and has gradually creeped up the class ladder to run here in another Group 1 after running an excellent race to finish 3rd to Dream Ahead in the July Cup and Fran Berry renews his association having won on him at The Curragh in the summer. 25/1 is a decent price if you fancy him running another big race.
HOOF IT - This return to 6f could suit as his last 3 wins have been over the trip and last time at York his chance seemed to be scuppered by being on the wrong side of the track and in the end he was only 2 lengths behind the winner at the line. Whether he deserves to be fav after that run is open to question and it reamins to be seen if he can progress into a Group 1 winner.
KINGSGATE NATIVE - Often runs well here (142) and after running a few below par efforts, although his stable blamed poor draws for some of his runs, he ran better last time behind Margot Did in the Nunthorpe when 4th beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Neil Callan takes over the steering and Kingsgate Native could well be in the shake up and 28/1 is good value at this track.
MASAMAH - Has struggled over 6f in the past and against the best sprint company is he likely to do any better ? you would have to say no, but he is fast and the stable will be hoping he lasts home.
SOCIETY ROCK - This will only be his thirteenth start and he comes into the race having won the Golden Jubilee at Ascot and then finishing second to Moonlight Cloud over in France last time out. James Fanshawe had this to say about him "His best performances have been at Ascot and after the Golden Jubilee this year he got a corn, which meant a run in the July Cup would have come quite
quickly. He wasn't really firing before France, so I was really delighted with his run there, he ran really well and he did it away from Ascot. That was the first time he showed he was up to running in Group Ones on a different track. Touch wood he seems in good nick and is really bright in himself."
SOLE POWER - The faster the better with him not only with the ground but also in the race. He has shown he is capable of performing on the big stage and he had a warm up last weekend but it remains to be seen if he can do as well over 6f.
TIDDLIWINKS - Is another who has it all to do and he would probably be better off in a handicap, he is surely just a day out token for connections.
DREAM AHEAD - Had a bit of a blip last time after winning the July Cup and his trainer commented recently on that "He's in the same form he was before he went to Deauville. He's very fresh, very happy and I'm really looking forward to running him. I've got no idea what happened last time, we've got no excuses, it was just a bad day at the office. I think good ground will be fine for him, I can't see him not running because of the ground. It's a very good field and any one of about five could win it, they are all very capable on their day." This will only be his eigth start and he is still open to any amount of improvement as a 3yo.
ELZAAM - Another 3yo who ran well in the Golden Jubilee but not so well in the July Cup albeit only beaten 4 lengths. I think he will like the course and should perform well and his trainer says "Elzaam is in great form. I've drawn a line through the July Cup as he's run three times at Newmarket now and hasn't performed. I don't know if it's the undulations he doesn't like but I think we can forget Newmarket. He's shown good form at tracks like Newbury and Ascot, and Haydock is a flat six so I hope he can show his best."
WOOTEN BASSETT - The winner of 5 races as a 2yo and having not cut the mustard over longer trips this season he tries his hand at sprinting and Fahey had this to say about his chances "We're happy with him, everything's grand and he's drawn in 10 which is acceptable. If it's genuine good ground he'll run and he took a step in the right direction at Deauville last time but didn't get home and I don't know why. Everything's fine and let's hope he bounces back".
BEWITCHED - Right down the bottom but he shouldnt be forgotten as he is a very capable performer on his day and Richard Hughes takes the ride. He was fav for the Golden Jubilee but didnt run very well and the stable could offer no explanation and maybe it was just an off day and 14/1 now could look generous come the end of the race. He has a good win record and the 6f trip should be right up his street and he has won here in the past.
A tricky race indeed and with rain looking like hitting the track at some stage I think it will be between Dream Ahead, Bewitched and Society Rock.
Good Luck !

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Beauty Pageant at Haydock !

There are a few sprint races at Haydock on Friday that look interesting :
1.40 Beauty Pageant is lightly raced for Ed McMahon and comes into this having been placed in all her races so far. She is drawn in stall 1 so she has the option of heading over to the rail but the likelyhood is they will all come up the middle as is the norm here these days. 4/1 is an ok price, although not sure I would want her to go much shorter. She probably has a bit more improvement to come and for that reason in what is a moderate field of runners I will side with her.
2.10 Pelmanism did alright last time in coming a 1 1/2 length second to Mirza last time here as there was 3 lengths back to the 3rd and a further 3 lengths back to the 4th and the winner has run 2nd to Colonel Mak since. There doesnt appear to be any improvers to upset the applecart this time and Haydock which has always been a place for winning favs can see another here.
3.10 Invincible Force won on his second run in 24 hours under this jockey last time out and he remains well handicapped on old form and the key to him is that he needs to be at the front from the start if possible. Marvellous Value has had a bit of a break and his 4 1/2 length defeat of Cape Vale at Newcastle in May gives him a good chance in this. On his next run at Newcastle again he wasnt suited by the ground and having had a little break he comes here refreshed. Iron Range though could be open to any amount of improvement on his sole winning start at the end of last season and Ed McMahon may have another winner in him.
3.40 Lucky Numbers ran his best race for a while last time out although he was beaten 5 lengths to Verinco and any ease in the ground will play to his strengths. Another lightly raced sort here in Ganas who won by six lengths last time and you wouldnt put it past him conjuring up further improvement to be too good for these. Misplaced Fortune hasnt quite lived up to last seasons promise and on a 7lb lower mark than wehen 3rd in the Ayr Silver Cup last season he can also make his presence felt. Even though Hotham won last time out he is still rated 10lb lower than when he won a Class 3 at York last season and its likely now that he has hit form again he will be in the shake up too.
I wouldnt be going too wild on the races though and you may be better saving some money for the racing on Saturday !!
Good luck