Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting starts on Thursday while the ITV Racing cameras will also be at Pontefract.
Our resident racing expert Stefan Fellows has been in fine form of late with no fewer than FOUR winners from his selections last weekend, not to mention a decent priced each-way bet.
And he’s back once more to mark our card ahead of Day 1 of the Cambridgeshire meeting from Newmarket.
A couple of lightly raced progressive types look set to fight this Nursery out. Last Sunset has finished second on her last 2 starts but her form is progressive and 84 looks a fair enough mark for this handicap debut with the promise of more improvement to come from this nicely bred filly.
Lost In Space is unbeaten in his last 2 starts including a success here of 7f on handicap debut late last month. He never didn’t look like the winner that day and was well on top in the end suggesting the 8lb rise for that success could be in his measure.
The step up to a mile is not expected to be an issue based on pedigree and looks set to go close once more with Oisin Murphy coming back in for the ride for which he has 33% strike rate with the John Gosden yard in the last year.
Mark Of The Man finished a respectable third over this trip 12 days ago. He`s been nudged up another 2lb for that run but a reproduction should see him thereabouts once more with Ryan Moore taking over in the saddle.
Selection: Lost In Space
The consistent mare Lady Of Aran does not hold many secrets from the handicapper but she has been dropped another 1lb for on the back of another solid effort when 4th of 1 in a decent handicap at Salisbury recently.
She looks to be running herself into a bit of form and has done here winning in the autumn in previous years. The race could be run to suit this hold up type with a few of these likely to force the early pace and she`s taken to go close.
Betsey Trotter was a good winner at Thirsk last time but this is a much stronger race and has a 6lb rise to deal with. The main danger, therefore, looks to be Quickstep Lady who steps into handicap company for the first time of the back of a wide margin success at Goodwood and represents the Andrew Balding yard who were successful in this race last year.
Selection: Lady Of Aran (Each Way)
The William Haggas trained Yazaman has the best form we have seen to date after finishing 2nd at group 2 level earlier in the season and also filling that spot once more in a valuable sales race at Doncaster on his latest start.
He’s the one to beat on those efforts but there looked to be something special about the performance of La Barrosa when winning a Ascot maiden on debut. That form has been franked since and the manner of the victory that day suggested the Lope De Vega colt would soon be holding his own at the highest level.
Selection: La Barrossa (Next Best)
Tactics could be crucial here on deciding the outcome with what has the potential to be a match between the front running Withhold and Mildenberger.
The former was successful in this race last year and showed himself in good form recently when finished 2nd in a conditions race at Salisbury.
He looks sure to go close especially if Jason Watson can dictate matters but the 3lb he has to give his rivals makes his task slightly tougher.
The Mark Johnstone trained Mildenberger has not been seen since finishing 2nf in the Sagaro Stakes in June but his record after a break is a respectable one including a victory here in the past. Progressive last winter he looks to still have more to offer and should be hard to beat at this level.
Selection: Mildenberger (Nap)
Highwaygrey loves it round here with 4 wins to his name from 5 starts including another success last time out. He is respected once more but does have 5lb more to carry in this stronger grade which he has struggled at in the past.
Dontaskmeagain has not been seen since finishing last of 8 in the group 3 Autumn Stakes some 348 days ago. Prior to that he was unbeaten in 2 starts and shaped like a horse of some promise. The Mark Johnstone runner makes his handicap debut today and is given another opportunity to build on the potential seen previously
This looks a good opportunity for the progressive Dark Jedi to find himself in the winner’s enclosure once more.
He’s gone from strength to strength with each start this season and was only just denied in a valuable handicap at Haydock on his latest run. A 3lb rise in the weights for that effort looks fine and is the one to beat in this easier event.
Not So Sleepy was last seen pulling up in the Champion Hurdle back at the Cheltenham Festival, so it will be interesting to see what form the previous Cesarewitch fourth will be in.
Selection: Dark Jedi
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