Fast ground the order of the day at Yarmouth and in the opening fillies and mares handicap, there must be a slight concern as to whether the three-year-old Nathaniel filly Progressive will be as effective on this surface as she was when scoring at on tapeta at Newcastle last month.
Oh It’s Saucepot won the corresponding race 12 month’s ago and is only 2lbs higher as she bids to follow up in this valuable heat but Dusk (1.00) took a big step forward when runner up at Lingfield in her handicap debut and can take this for the inform Sir Michael Stoute camp. I believe 10f might be the selection’s optimum trip, but this extended 11f should be within her compass and her breeding – by Galileo out of a firm ground Group 1 winner – suggests underfoot conditions will be ideal.
Only four to post for the 3-y-old 0-100 handicap but all hold realistic chances in the feature race on the card. Emissary is highly regarded but he disappointed at Newmarket on his latest start when he pulled too hard. He is visored for the first time this afternoon.
The form of Star Of Wins (1.30) Sandown success was given a boost when the second – Native Tribe – scored at Glorious Goodwood and a 2lbs rise for that battling success seems fair. Tom Marquand has ridden the colt in all four of his races to date, but his lowest riding weight is 8st 7lbs and Cieren Fallon takes over on the selection who is due to carry 8st 6lbs.
Ajrad (2.30) was beaten 3L at Ascot on debut but the winner – Laneqash – finished runner up in a listed race at Doncaster last week and he again ran well at York last time on ground which was, arguably, softer than ideal. An opening mark of 75 looks fair and he can take the nursery for Ed Dunlop who could certainly do with a winner.
Lovely Breeze (3.55) has a moderate draw to overcome in the 7f fillies’ maiden at Kempton, but she shaped with considerable promise when not knocked about at Lingfield – turf – on debut and she should know more today although confidence is tempered by her wide gate in stall ten – of 14.
Nortonthorpelegend (3.40) has never won in four starts at Hexham, but he ran a race full of promise when fourth over today’s C&D on his reappearance and he is 1lb lower in the weights this afternoon. He has no history of running well fresh and that run should have put him spot on for today. Rebecca Menzies has her string in decent form after what was a difficult time for the yard, and I hope to see a big run from her 10-year-old.
I am surprised to see Shantaluze (5.15) return to the minimum trip having shaped with promise on his chase debut at Cartmel when given a very patient ride by Brian Hughes. The selection is a winning pointer over 3m but also won a couple of novice hurdles over the minimum trip. He returned from a 500-day break last time and is a candidate to “bounce”, but he was not knocked about in the Lake District and I expect Hughes to be more positive on the 8-year-old this afternoon.