The return of the flat, turf TV tips begin today and plenty will be looking towards the strong favourite Tullius, to give them a great start. Andrew Balding’s seven year old is clearly the one to beat in this after a number of strong efforts in pattern company last season and an excellent second in the 2014 Lincoln further strengthens confidence. The ground shouldn’t pose any problems for the favourite either and although we are to take him on, he really ought to go very close. Baltic Knight was probably a tad disappointing when beaten at Kempton the last day, he has some very strong turf form at this trip though and that recent run gives him a serious advantage over the favourite. Glory Awaits has a penalty for winning a Graded race in Turkey and looks opposable on these terms whilst Sirius Prospect is probably better over shorter. Pentitent makes up the field and is decent but a chance will be taken on Baltic Knight to get the better of Tullius with the recent run, perhaps proving decisive.
Baltic Knight (WIN)
This is probably an above average race for round here and classic form from last season is brought to the table. Romsdal finished a fine second in the St Leger when last seen, the Gosden horse could yet improve further but the sharp trip here is a significant concern. Red Galileo rarely runs two races the same and as such is hard to weigh up, his yard took last seasons renewal however, so a market watch is advised. Solar Deity is very consistent and rarely fails to hit the frame, he has plenty to find to turn over Romsdal but with the trip being fine and with fitness assured, a chance is worth taking and Marco Botti’s tough sort is handed a tentative vote.
Solar Deity (WIN)
Jack Dexter had proved himself to be a very high class sprinter a few seasons back and looked set to play a starring role in the top sprints of last term, he proved extremely disappointing however and went the entire campaign without registering a single success. Surprisingly Graham Lee has been replaced upon Jim Goldie’s challenger and though he does like it here, he is impossible to get carried away about at the prices ( Currently 7/2 ) Astaire is another whom rather found things tough last season, his price of 3/1 is baffling even allowing for his fine second in a Group One last term. Kevin Ryan’s favourite offers such little value that a chance must be taken elsewhere and Dinkum Diamond whom took this last term can give Graham Lee a confidence boost and upset the market leaders. Aetna is improving and ought to be involved and although saddled with top weight today, Justice Day is a tough sort whom has the correct profile to improve further more this term.
Dinkum Diamond (E/W if 5/1+)
Godolphin have rather surprisingly dominated the all weather circuit and look to have another decent sort in the hat-trick seeking New Years Night. Having previously looked a little untrustworthy he has gotten his act together in no uncertain terms and the way he won the last day promises of further improvement, such improvement is required here however and the three pounds rise in the weights may scupper his chances of victory today, he is a worthy favourite however and is respected as such. The Mark Johnston yard is another to be flying on the artificial surfaces at present and his globe trotting Fire Fighting looks to be the value play. An excellent nose second in Dubai off a two pounds higher mark in January, he returned to these shores with a decent second last time and is likely to play a pert despite top weight. The re-application of headgear is also likely to suit and he can run into at least a place for them wanting to take the favourite on. Rebellious Guest is another whom looks primed to run a big race and outsider Flemish School is better than what he showed last time, both deserve respect in what looks a decent heat.
Fire Fighting (E/W)
A field of twenty two makes this look pretty impossible but the race is an excellent one and has the usual blend of tough experienced handicappers squaring off against the unexposed sorts. Certificate is a member of the latter and hails from a yard who took this twelve months ago with a similar sort, gelded during the off season plenty will like his profile and he looks the intriguing sort. The bookmakers offer very little value however and judging what he has done on the track he is by no means thrown in and is worth opposing at the odds. King Torus rattled off a hat-trick from his first three starts last season and ended the campaign with a credible third behind course specialist Levitate, his mark of 88 looks very fair given he’s won off a 100 and he can reward us with a place. Chatez was a costly failure on a couple of occasions last term and has looked out of sorts over hurdles recently, he is very talented on his day though and a reproduction of the pick of last seasons runs give him every chance off this mark. Regular big field contestants Boots And Spurs, Dance And Dance and Spa’s Dancer all have the form to figure and warrant respect in what looks a devilishly tough race.
King Torus (E/W)
Despite having taken on every favourite up to this point, we are to go with one and Boomerang Bob looks likely to be the market leader in this. Held up in rear last time at Wolverhampton, he fairly rattled home and looked a huge eye catcher in the process. Formerly a Listed Winner, Charlie Hills four year old has since plummeted down the weights and with claimer George Blackwell once again given the leg up, he can finally take advantage of this rather lenient looking mark. Yeeoow has totally lost his way of late and is becoming impossible to trust, he’s also been a beaten favourite five times since last winning so although respected and feared, he is extremely difficult to advise despite the falling mark. Mishaal and Atlantis Crossing come from yards known to land a touch and need monitoring, both have plenty to recommend them on but neither are easy to predict. The potential dark horse looks to be Perfect Pasture, he had to be strongly rousted early doors when winning last time but he was pretty impressive and the five pounds penalty looks lenient. This step up in trip is unlikely to pose the Easterby horse any issue and he deserves the main danger tag.
Boomerang Bob (WIN)
The main event of the afternoon and yet another ridiculously tough looking handicap to decipher with most of them having something to talk their chances up. John Gosden is as good a starting point as any and despite being rather more famous lately for his superstars, he has taken a few of these and always needs respecting when he saddles one in a handicap. GM Hopkins had looked Group class after routing his opponents in the Silver Cambridgeshire last season, only to fluff his lines twice subsequently. Gelded during the winter, it is very likely Gosden has always had this as his aim and he can reward the faith taken from last seasons high points. Mange All is another whom looks unexposed, he has something to find with the selection on his last run but his trainer has taken three renewals of this and his chance wants respecting. Of the older more exposed types, Jacks Revenge has twice run respectably in this race, he’s an infrequent winner but is a good starting to the older types and his chance of hitting the frame looks strong. Tres Coronas is a nice type along with Belgian Bill, both will probably go in during the season but both look to be needing a little respite from the handicapper at present. Bertiewhittle has a terrible habit of looking unlucky during the run, he will surely pick up a good pot somewhere down the line but this trip is a bit iffy. Bronze Angel was a revelation in these big handicaps last term and Ocean Tempest took last seasons renewal of this, both face a tough task at the weight but a chance is going to be taken on Bronze Angel running into the places at rewarding odds.
Bronze Angel (E/W)
GM Hopkins (E/W if 6/1+)
by Chris Connolly