A Class 5 handicap over the minimum trip of five furlongs is where we find our first selection.
See Vermont is quite consistent for a sprinter. He has won twice since Rebecca Bastiman took the training license off her father Robin. At Bath in May he got loose beforehand but somehow managed to win. Two starts ago he won at Chepstow, which saw his mark rise to his current one of 64. This seven-year-old is a strong traveller in his races and has course experience and has placed on four occasions. A low draw is usually a positive but for a horse that will look for some cover whilst travelling nicely, stall one may prove a little bit more of a negative. He’ll run his race and looks like there is another win in him before the season is out.
Tom Sawyer is going for the hat-trick. He won over course and distance 23 days ago and looks a threat with Joe Doyle on board able to claim 3lb. If held-up then stall ten could help him to make a late challenge down the middle. From his three starts here he has won twice, so he does like it around here. Hoofalong carries a 6lb penalty for his emphatic win at Pontefract. He won that race by eight lengths after Phillip Makin gave him an enterprising ride and kicked for home on the bend leaving his rivals paddling behind him. With the same jockey on board similar tactics could be used but that may prove to be difficult from stall 12. If he can replicate something like that run then he should go close.
The three-year-old in this field is the unexposed Art World, who got off the mark in a weak maiden; where the favourite played up before hand then burst through the stalls leading it to be withdrawn. He is interesting on handicap debut and Brian Ellison has got Silvestre de Sousa to ride for him, so he is one to consider. Half A Billion hasn’t shown much in recent times but Michael Dods has reached for the hood for the first time; sometimes that brings about some improvement.
Advice: See Vermont (7/1 each-way)
This is race of the day by a long way. We have a Listed race for fillies over one-mile-one furlong.
Henry Candy’s Chain Of Daises is a filly that I’ve been following this season. She has won her last three when having an uncontested lead to make all. However at York she grimly held on side the final 100 yards. She won by a neck to All About Time, who was closing and with another couple of strides, would have got there. The 6lb rise makes her vulnerable and she may be challenged for the lead in this contest. The trainer and Dane O’Neill teamed up to win this race last year with Lady Pimpernel.
Of the four-year-old’s then only two make any appeal. Provenance has been fairly consistent at this level but is yet to get her head in front. A second when last seen at Sandown behind Tha’ir, but the winner made all. She seems to have her quirks and if she is a short price then I’d be personally taking her on. Persona Grata is the other, who has been consistent in handicaps over here. Ed Walker sent her to France for two Listed races where she was second on both runs where there was cut in the ground. The return to a quicker surface here could suit her better and she is one not to discount.
I was all over Tazffin the night before she ran at Glorious Goodwood when she was priced up around the 7/1 mark. She had the best form going into that race and arguably has the best form going into this one. A third behind Irish Rookie, who was second in the French 2000 Guineas, she had beaten Blond Me, who has since won the Coral Distaff Listed race at Sandown. On top of that she was second to Covert Love, who has since won the Irish Oaks. At Royal Ascot the blinkers were put on Tazffin and she disappointed but they were removed for Goodwood, where she won staying on well after being well backed in the market. The step-up in class does leave a question mark but she could provide some value for an in-form yard.
Suffused has gone up by 11lb for her 6l success here in a four-runner handicap. She did is very well proving she needed to go up in grade and is one to take seriously as there could be plenty more to come from this Roger Charlton filly. Pamona has been third on her three starts this season, two in Listed races and another in a Group 2. She is one to be interested in considering she may be the least exposed.
Advice: Tazffin (11/2 each-way)
A Class 5 Handicap over one-mile-two-furlongs at Bath is where our final selection runs.
Just the six runners go to post and this looks like a good piece of placing by Sir Mark Prescott. His Merritt Island carries a 6lb penalty for a taking win at Nottingham and there could be more to come from this three-year-old. This looks a really weak race. Yes she does have her stamina to prove but based on her pedigree then she should stay plus she has been staying on in the latter stages of her races over a mile suggesting she should see it out until the line. The win at Nottingham was even more impressive considering the winning distance plus the fact that Luke Morris dropped his whip. She is likely to be a short price but she is the class horse in this field.
The main danger may prove to be Avocadeau. He beat Ballyglasheen at Chepstow by a neck off a mark of 70 three starts ago. He hasn’t shown much in his other two runs but he is running here off 71 and has course form, something that can be important here. Martin Dwyer has won on him, so he may know how to get the best out of this horse.
Shalimah hasn’t really shown much and only has won a Class 5 Maiden Auction Stakes from which the form doesn’t look the greatest. The visor goes on for the first time as Clive Cox looks to eek out some improvement. He is running off a mark of 72 but needs to find extra with Merritt Island. The form of the stable would be a concern, so until that picks up then I’m avoiding the Cox runners.
Of the rest then Kastini is interesting dropping back in grade. Denis Coakley’s gelding has been running in Class 3 handicaps and drops into a Class 5 one here. When last seen in a race of this type he was second to Collaboration, who is now rated 101. He stays this trip and if replicating a run like that in this sort of race then he could get his head in front.
Advice: Merritt Island (4/5 Win – Stan James)