The draw has been very unkind to the consistent Ghost Train and Baker will have to perform an almost miraculous feat to get him home in front, both horse and jockey are capable however. Recently third behind an unexposed sort around here his chance could also suffer as competition for the lead looks a certainty, his turn isn’t far away though and he’s probably worth bearing in mind for the near future. Spowarticus is fairly consistent for one who likes to blast off in front, a repeat of his winning effort at Wolverhampton the last day may well prove enough here but the fact he disappointed her last month is off putting and a pace duel with the aforementioned Ghost Train could also scupper him. With all the pace considered in this the interesting one is Catalinas Diamond as all three of her wins last year came off higher marks than this, including one over course and distance. The overnight market support for Pat Murphy’s charge is another positive so despite the lack of recent form, a chance on her will be taken as this ought to be run to suit. Boboli Gardens is another with a chance and is on a hat-trick, his hold up style should be suited and although up in grade, he has every chance.
Catalinas Diamond (E/W if 5/1+)
After going through what can only be described as a rather disastrous spell, the Jonjo O’Neil yard has began to start firing again with Cheltenham on the horizon and he saddles a likely sort in this. Despite being a very heavily gambled favourite last time, Milan Bound was readily brushed aside at Newbury the last day. The winner has since gone in again off a revised mark though and the form has a solid look, it could be argued Milan Bound may have also needed that run so it would be no surprise to see him take this. The top weighted Rathlin Rose is hard to weigh up but he was a very easy winner last time and is chasing the hat-trick in this, his chance obviously wants respecting but he will have completion for the lead and is reluctantly taken on. Western Jo is another whom is difficult to figure in handicaps though he did show his true colours over course and distance in one, he is another to respect. The biggest danger to the favourite however may be Wicked Spice, he rarely runs two races the same but a course and distance winner who likes to be held up, from a stable firing and racing on ground he will appreciate, he ticks almost ever box and trading at 6/1 as we speak, a place is surely on the agenda at the least.
Wicked Spice (E/W if 5/1+)
This is a desperate looking affair with most of them so far, proving to be a disappointment, it would be very rare of me to concentrate on a fillies maiden auction race too, but a chance will be taken. Blhadawa has obviously had issues and missed 2014, being the only four year old in this she must give everything else over a stone and though she has the form, the percentage call is to oppose on the weight issue alone. Lady In White has shown very little in two starts to date, Roger Varian has a knack of finding the key to fillies though and this step up in trip may work the oracle. Her opening price of 9/2 maybe long gone but she will surely improve and is taken to beat this modest bunch en route to better things. Rialto Magic has had plenty of chances but has also been costly to follow, there is no real reason why she wont be fighting this out but her profile is off putting and a chance is entitled to be taken on a less exposed type.
Lady In White (WIN)
by Chris Connolly