Arnold Lane has faced some tough tasks of late but is usually trustworthy enough to run his race and todays drop in class should ensure he goes very close. A winner at Chelmsford in November Mick Channon’s 7 year old knows what it takes and with an easy lead looking likely today he is selected to make his class tell. Clement has been in fine form and rattled off his hatrick when scoring here earlier in the month, he’s shot up 11lbs in the weights since his streak began however and this is a lot tougher than some of the egg and spoon races he has been winning, that said he merits respect given the heart he is clearly in. Majestic Myles took advantage of a massive class drop when winning the last day, he is arguably much better on the turf however and his form on these surfaces would have to improve dramatically to turn over the best of these. Doctor Parkes is fairly decent when in the mood and old timer Bravo Echo is still capable though the feeling is Arnold Lane will be too strong.
Arnold Lane (WIN)
With Cheltenham looming fans of champion trainer Paul Nicholls must have been pulling their hair out at his woeful run of form from December onwards, odds on shots and shorties turned over every which way it seemed a never ending run of disasters. That shocking run of form however has been well and truly put to one side in recent days and the champions yard is absolutely flying at this critical stage of the season. Howlongisafoot wouldn’t be a good thing to continue this upward trend but he is very interesting now and Harry Cobdens 7lbs claim actually has him better off at the weights as when winning at Taunton in November. Araldur has won here and needs plenty of respect in a race of this nature, down the weights he really ought to be winning before too long though he isn’t the most convincing in the ‘wanting it’ stakes these days. Minella Reception and Deep Trouble have plenty enough to recommend on and though Renard is becoming frustrating he has a good chance off bottom weight with cheekpieces on for the 1st time. The rest have plenty enough to find and so a chance will be taken on the Nicholls streak continuing with Howlongisafoot.
Howlongisafoot (E/W if 9/2+)
Plenty of these make appeal and moving forward this race will probably throw up plenty of winners. The well bred Jarir improved on his second at Southwell when bolting up here over 2f less the last day and must be respected again today. Unexposed in this handicapping sphere his breeding certainly promises further improvement over middle distance trips and if crack claimer Tom Marquand can settle him early he is probably worth chancing despite his 7lbs penalty. Epsom Day is fairly exposed and his runaway victory the last day is probably not worth getting excited about, he does hold the best pieces of form however and if the bookmakers were to take a liberty on his price he would be tempting for a place. Kalamata has won both her starts in handicap company and looks a deserving favourite on that premise. A sort who looks to just do enough, she may be hard for the handicapper to assess but this is a better race than those both her victories came in and if short would be risky when you consider she is creeping up the weights. Schoolboy Error has twice been beaten by Kalamata but is handicapped to reverse his length beating behind her the last time, whether he will take advantage of this mark is questionable but he certainly warrants respect and a place isn’t out of the question. Gabster and Dr Drey are closely matched and types who ought to find a race before long, market strength for either would be interesting but both are still passed over in favour of Jarir.