Soft ground here generally plays to the strength of them drawn low and last seasons renewal was dominated by horses in that category. Confessional has won three times on testing ground and ran a huge race here in the St Wilfrid in August, he’s two pounds below his last winning mark today but has run some huge races off higher and should be able to challenge with plenty in his favour today. Artic Feeling had the re-opposing Free Zone behind him at York the last day, the latter is taken to reverse that here though and is a course and distance winner. Duke Of Firenze has a touch of class and must be respected but all are passed over in favour of the well handicapped Easterby challenger, Confessional.
Phillip Hobbs has taken the last two renewals of this with Balthazar King, nothing looks like the same class as him in this but the yards Roalco Des Farges and Duke Of Lucca want monitoring in the market. Standing Ovation rattled off a four-timer and had looked one to follow when accounting for some decent sorts at Wincanton last November, it has to be said he rather disappointed afterwards but David Pipe’s seven year old is taken to regain the thread here and score. Course winner Le Bec took a crashing fall at the festival having looked likely to play a part, he could be a big player if he’s recovered mentally whilst Mart Lane shrugged off some shocking efforts in scoring last time and must be respected attempting to follow up.
Standing Ovation (E/W If 6/1+)
Course specialist Conry has scored nine times here and has only ever failed to finish in the top three on one occasion here ( Fourth that day ) He’s won off higher marks and has previously taken a division of this before, the ground will be right up his street today and at 10/1 he simply cannot be opposed. Ready is respected having previously won here on the ground and Showboating took last seasons renewal, both have claims along with True Pleasure.
Conry (E/W if 6/1+)
by Chris Connolly