Mon Cigar had shown very little in three turf maidens and it was no surprise that connections decided to start him off on the all weather once a handicap mark was allotted. His all weather debut turned out to be a bitter disappointment as he finished eleventh of twelve at Kempton, better was seemingly expected though given he was an 8/1 shot and he bounced back with much better effort when beaten just a head here over course and distance last time. The strength of that second wouldn’t be anything to get overexcited about and the handicapper handed him a three pounds penalty for it, he is the least exposed though and is taken to find the relevant improvement and land the spoils. Shifting Star is a grand old campaigner who generally gives his running, he hides few secrets from the handicapper but generally runs his race whilst similar can be said of Ghost Train.
Mon Cigar (WIN)
Uno Valoroso was heavily backed on his seasonal reappearance at Kelso last time and duly obliged on what was his debut over fences at Kelso. He finished six lengths in front of the re-opposing Brother Scott that day and although the handicapper has handed him a seven pounds penalty, the form on the face of it should be upheld. Both are worthy of a good deal of respect but neither have totally trustworthy profiles and as the market is likely to be dominated by the pair they are taken on. Silverton showed plenty of promise on her final two starts over hurdles when finishing third at Perth and following it up with a good second at Wetherby, she makes her chasing bow today but can go off the same mark as that promising run at Wetherby and can run into a place for us today at rewarding odds, down in trip. Amethyst Rose is a course winner over hurdles and will handle the testing going, she has chances if on a going day but lacks the scope of the selection and can only be watched today.
Silverton (E/W if 5/1+)
This is a very smart Listed race for the time of year here with most of them holding a chance of sorts. Captain Cat proved himself to be a very good miler on the turf and picked up a couple of victories at Group Three level before signing off with a fine fourth behind Charm Spirit in a hot Group One at Ascot. The decision to keep him on the go is interesting given his improvement on the turf but he does handle artificial surfaces and proved as much when winning the all weather championship mile at Lingfield in the spring. Roger Charlton’s charge has also won over todays course and distance and cannot be opposed given the overall strength of his form. William Haggas saddles two and his Princes Trust fairly bolted up on his artificial surface debut at Lingfield last time, his form is difficult to weigh up but he certainly warrants respect and is the potential fly in the ointment. Stablemate Graphic is difficult to catch right but has won here, he deserves respecting along with Sloane Avenue and Tenor.
Captain Cat (WIN)
by Chris Connolly