We start with a Class 5 Handicap for stayers over 2m. At the moment we have the ‘dead eight’ going to post.
The Cashel Man is an improving three-year-old for David Simcock and is looking to complete a hat-trick after two big field handicap wins. In his latest outing he beat The Twisler, who has gone onto to finish a respectable 8th in Queens Vase at Royal Ascot. He shaped liked this step-up in trip would suit with how he swoops late to challenge and to win. In this race Fitzwilly looks to be his main rival and he receives weight from him.
Mick Channon’s five-year-old gelding Fitzwilly is dropped in grade having won a Class 4 Handicap at Goodwood three starts ago with claimer Paddy Pilley on board. It is two years ago since he won over course and distance. Despite the fact he gives weight away he may be ridden to have better track position than the selection, which could count here at a track that suits more prominent runners.
Amour De Nuit was behind the selection at Nottingham three starts ago (42 days). Since then he has raced twice and finished two good seconds since; one of them was in a Class 4, so this is a drop in class. A slight concern is that he can be quite keen and would therefore needs to settle early on to have a chance.
The pace angle could come from Statsminister, which could suit this sort of track meaning she could get the run of race. She was second to Queen Alexandra Taws a few starts ago suggesting she is a galloping type and produced a good effort last time. She carries top weight in this race.
The Cashel Man (Win)
We head north to Yorkshire for a five-furlong sprint. This Class 4 Handicap sees ten-runners heading to post.
Majorie Fife’s Best Trip is somewhat of a course specialist having won two of his three starts at this track but those victories have come over further. He was second to Harwoods Volante last time, who has won again since giving some of his form some strength. Fergal Lynch takes the ride and he’s a jockey in form however a concern would be the stable form at this moment in time. Any further rain is likely to boost his chances. This drop back in trip might see him somewhere near back to his best form.
Native Falls is a four-year-old whose most recent wins have come over six furlongs. Those two wins have seen him using his speed to make all and with the drop back to five furlongs plus the draw from stall one could see him continue his trend of getting the run of the race to win. He has raced once here at Catterick and that effort saw him place. Ben Curtis is having a good season, as is trainer Alan Swinbank. His lastest effort saw him finish sixth of nine at Pontefract in a Class 3 event, this drop in grade could see him back in the winners enclosure if that effort eight days ago didn’t take too much out of him.
Another Royal is a filly coming from an in-form combination. David Allan and Tim Easterby are both doing well for themselves on the northern circuit, so far this season. The four-year-old was a winner at Pontefract last time and despite only winning by a head has been risen by 5lb. That rise plus a wide draw in stall eight are the slight concerns, especially as she is stepping into Class 4 company. If this is a strong pace it could suit her despite the wide draw, as she may be able to come sweeping from the back. Ruth Carr’s Furas is also worth a quick mention in the first-time hood. We’ve seen plenty of winners in recent weeks where first-time headgear has worked the oracle.
Native Falls (E/W)
The final selection comes in a Class 5 Handicap over a trip of 1m6f where again the ‘dead eight’ are set for a start.
Callendula is a filly that has been knocking on the door in her last two efforts. The three-year-old’s mark has risen to 65 for those efforts despite being a nine-race maiden. So far in her career she has shaped like this sort of trip should suit her with the way she sees out her races strongly. If Adam Kirby can keep her prominent throughout then she has a very good chance of finally recording a win.
Artesana is a six-race maiden. She went up 2lb for latest second where she stayed on but was in the end well held, as the winner was already well clear. William Knight’s filly has finished third over 1m4f and her pedigree suggests that this trip should suit, as dam was a winner over 1m7f in France.
William Haggas’ Mythical Madness carries a 6lb penalty for her 3¼l win over this distance at Carlisle, only six days ago. She won well in a bigger field and has shown that she can get her head in front, which a few of her rivals are yet to do. With her win only coming six days ago, the concern would be how much did that take out of her. She had previously run well twice at Lingfield before her win before win.
The only concern looking at the race on paper is that there could be a lack of pace, as there seems no obvious frontrunner. If one were to go forward and make the running then you’d expect it to be Mythical Madness, who doesn’t have the stamina to prove or Cahill for Alan King, who tends to race prominently but has made the running before. Overall, this could be a slowly ran tactical affair coming down to a turn of foot inside the final few furlongs.