RACE PREVIEWS & TIPS (THURSDAY)
Previous course and distance winner Escalating has been in fine form with two victories and three placed efforts in his five seasonal starts. There’s no doubt he has consistency on his side and you can’t discount him readily but as he climbs up the weights his chances start to diminish.
If old boy Seeking Magic retains any of his previous ability then he’ll take a serious hand in this race but he’s becoming increasingly hard to judge with muddling form recently and is probably best left alone.
The one that gets the nod hasn’t won in his last sixteen starts but has been knocking on the door. Hailing from the top-yard of Richard Fahey, five year old George Bowen gets his preferred trip and has a much more competitive handicap mark. The booking of Paul Hanagan is another big positive and should get his head in front today.
GEORGE BOWEN (WIN) – NAP
Zenafire looks set to be the favourite after a victory here last time out. A drop in trip may well suit but this looks a much tougher challenge than last time and I’m happy to take him on.
Trainer Scott Dixon is in blistering form and he sends Albert Boy into the race on the back of a decent second placed effort. A couple of victories this year shows that the four year old is getting the hang of things and he’ll push our selection close.
Suitor was in poor form this year prior to a much better run most recently. A preference for softer going means that today’s conditions should suit and a return to class five will also aid Brian Ellison’s charge to put in a very good effort.
London Protocol may have only won his maiden but he showed a return to form when last seen. Softer conditions and a drop in grade seemed to aid his chances and with similar conditions set for today he’s got a few things lined up in his favour. At the age of four he’s still got room for improvement and Karl Burke certainly isn’t a slouch when it comes to races like these. He’ll go close, especially if the addition of blinkers eek out further improvement.
The trio of Mythical Madness, Roller and Fuwairt are the most likely to give the selection something to think about with them all putting in improved runs previously,
LONDON PROTOCOL (E/W)