Race 1 No12 DULAS (Each Way)
Trainer: Charles Hills – Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa
From a perfect draw two out from the rail, DULAS has strong each way claims in a competitive opener. He went down narrowly on seasonal reappearance at Haydock, and now visits a course and fixture his trainer’s family love to do well at.
Race 2 Melodi Media Huxley Stakes (Group 2)
No4 SANGARIUS (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Richard Kingscote
While the claims of Irish Champion Stakes third Armory stand up to close inspection, the automatic favourite could find SANGARIUS too hot to handle. The selection did well to beat one of today’s rivals Bangkok at Lingfield in spite of making a noise, and a subsequent wind operation is thought to have worked the oracle. It forced him to miss the Winter Derby, but this is just as good a pot for him to go for.
Race 3 tote+ Chester Cup Handicap
No7 NOT SO SLEEPY (Each Way)
Trainer: Hughie Morrison – Jockey: Graham Lee
Getting to the front is key for a horse like NOT SO SLEEPY who has to break from stall 13 in the week’s feature. However, if that can be achieved or nearly so, the ante-post favourite will surely figure. He ran well to finish just out of the money in the Champion Hurdle and again at Aintree and showed when fourth in last year’s Cesarewitch that he can cut it in the big staying handicaps on the Flat. Others to include in all exotics are Rare Groove and Hochfeld, while Cardano could make the most of his inside berth.
Prediction: 1st NOT SO SLEEPY, 2nd Rare Groove, 3rd Hochfeld, 4th Cardano
Race 1 No6 CADEAU D’OR
Trainer: Andrew Balding – Jockey: Joshua Bryan
CADEAU D’OR attracted plenty of interest on seasonal reappearance only to disappoint at Wolverhampton. However, that form has been rubber-stamped by the winner Lostwithiel, and given how few miles he has on the click, the Le Havre gelding can prove those losses were merely lent.
Race 4 No4 ALDAARY (Nap)
Trainer: William Haggas – Jockey: Jim Crowley
The most interesting horse on view on this card is unbeaten ALDAARY, a son of fast-emerging sire Territories. He really looked the part when last seen scoring by nine lengths at Leicester in the autumn, and strikes me as having been let in lightly on handicap bow.
Race 7 No2 MY SWALLOW
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Hollie Doyle
Not to be confused with the top-class miler in the early seventies, MY SWALLOW skipped an opportunity earlier in the week to wait for this first attempt at a handicap. The son of Shalaa not only is unexposed, but his trainer can do little wrong with his three-year-olds.
Race 2 No1 CHESS PLAYER (Nap)
Trainer: Ben Pauling – Jockey: Luca Morgan
CHESS PLAYER has looked the winner of two of his last three starts only to find one to beat him. He’s a strong traveller, and despite carrying a welter burden can finally come good, with his jockey’s 3lb claim a boon.
Race 4 No13 SOMETHING ENTICING
Trainer: David Elsworth – Jockey: Dane O’Neill
With few miles on the clock, all-weather scorer SOMETHING ENTICING can live up to her name on this switch to grass. She reacted positively to the fitting of cheekpieces to win last time at Kempton, and with the headgear retained can take home a cheque.
Race 6 No6 RAINS OF CASTERMERE (Nap)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: James Doyle
RAINS OF CASTERMERE was thumped for winning by a street at Pontefract and there’s no wonder he’s out again under a 5lb penalty before his new mark kicks in. He’s looking to complete a four-timer on the Flat, and should not be underestimated.
Race 1 No1 DAIRERIN (Each Way)
Trainer: Michael Bell – Jockey: Charles Bishop
My best news in the opener concerns DAIRERIN, who will need to have his trapping boots on against the more experienced Berry Quick and Wee Loch Lass, but who on the evidence of home form should not be disgraced.
Race 2 No13 TWILIGHT SPINNER (Nap)
Trainer: David O’Meara – Jockey: Danny Tudhope
TWILIGHT SPINNER has a pedigree which is all speed, and is afforded abundant respect in receipt of the 5lb sex allowance from her main foes. The daughter of Twilight Son and Spinatrix shaped well on debut at Pontefract, and granted normal improvement can open her account.
Place Accumulator Perm (Races 1-7)
1, 8 x 13 x 4, 1 x 4, 2 x 8, 1 x 3, 1 x 6