Unbeaten in four starts as a two year old culminating in a decisive victory in a valuable race at Redcar, Limato has the potential to be the next superstar of the sprint division and makes his eagerly anticipated debut as a three year old today. Known for his prowess with sprinters it would be desperately disappointing if Henry Cady’s charge couldn’t make a winning reappearance and trading at odds against, we simply cannot overlook him today. Beacon picked up a group two on his final start last term and carries a penalty in this for that, he could improve bundles this season but that last victory was gained in fortunate circumstances ( Leader unseated jockey ) it should also be remembered that his one poor run last year was over this trip. Tendu and Strath Burn look to have the potential to pick nice races up this season, they deserve respect but Limato really only has to prove he has trained on to take this.
Free Entry finally got off the mark when winning here on her final start last season, her yard are in decent heart too so a big run looks to be on the cards. If we were to be critical of the favourites chance however, it would be that she ran second on four occasions before finally breaking her duck and short odds would be appealing to the brave only. Normandy Barriere always looked the type to do better when handicapping and predictably won on his handicap debut last time, the handicapper clearly objected to that however and he’s since gone up 12lbs. Quite what to expect of him off this mark is open to question but it is off putting and he can only be respectfully taken on as a result. Ocean Sheridan looks quite exposed but is tough and wouldn’t have to find much to win this whilst the unexposed Mrs Biggs could be anything and wants monitoring in the betting. Tim Easterby fired in a couple of winners yesterday and has two in this, his Special Venture would need to bounce back to form but his front running style is potentially well suited to this track and the drop in trip looks sure to suit. The yards other runner, Honeysuckle Lil ran much better than the bare form would suggest when fifth on her comeback at Ripon, she requires a leap of faith but this better ground is almost sure to suit and she is handed a speculative vote.
Honeysuckle Lil (E/W if 5/1+)
The Irish tend to dominate these races at the big festivals and hold an extremely strong hand in this, the home teams unbeaten trio in Disko, Charbel and Pylonthepressure are sure to be popular with the punters and all three are massively respected. There is however a potential fly in the ointment for the home challenge and that comes in the shape of UK raider, Modus. Second in the Cheltenham Champion bumper after a long lay off, he flopped when heavily backed in the 2014 Aintree bumper after being an eye catcher at the previous festival. A listed winner further back, he had always looked a potential star in this sphere and his form is very difficult to knock. Connections were quick to snap up the services of star amateur Derek O’Connor and with everything looking to be in his favour here, the form choice is handed the vote to see off the unexposed Irish challenge. Bellshill finished a long way behind Modus at Cheltenham but finished a fine second behind the hugely progressive and tough Barters Hill at Aintree the last day, he looks sure to go well again today and is still relatively unexposed at this stage. Supasundae is another to respect as his yard know how to win these races and Altior is another whom has chances.