Just Paul is something of a course specialist and his last three wins have all come here over slightly shorter. Despite switching yards since his last victory he now looks extremely well handicapped and with his versatility regarding ground conditions he has to be high on any shortlist this afternoon. He has been placed at this one mile trip in the past and with him fully entitled to come on for last week’s seasonal reappearance, he commands respect here this afternoon.
Opt Out is still well handicapped on the best of his old form and like the selection he has won here three times in the past. He has won at trips ranging from five furlongs to a mile and following a decent comeback at this track last month, he is fully entitled to be there or thereabouts. Ellaal is a dual course and distance winner who is edging his way back up the ratings. He has won two of his last three starts and is another that has solid place prospects.
Jack Garrity has partnered Just Paul numerous times in the past and he will be hoping that a return to this venue will allow him to record a first success on the six year old. Micky Hammond has his stable in decent form and a much better effort is expected here.
JUST PAUL (E/W if 9/2+)
Bedrock made a satisfactory reappearance at Doncaster just over a fortnight ago and that was at a higher level than this. He is bred to excel at middle distances so the step up in trip will more than likely suit. This drop in grade should also aid his cause and Pat Cosgrave has won on this three year old in the past, so they appear to have a lot going for them.
Grapevine showed improved form on his opening run of the season when attempting this trip for the first time. He was doing all of his best work in the closing stages when running on behind Sark and much better can be expected this evening. The form of that race has already received a boost following a win by Red Verdon and this Charlie Hills trained runner commands utmost respect. King Of Dreams made a good debut at this track last season when fishing second. He progressed with each start before finally shedding his maiden over this trip at Lingfield back in January. Jamie Spencer once again takes the ride and despite joint top weight they have sound claims.
Bedrock has plenty of scope for improvement and William Haggas has made a good start to this flat campaign. It wouldn’t be the biggest of surprises if this son of Fastnet Rock were to leave that first run well behind in order to win here.
Arithmetic is taken to leave his debut run of the season well behind having finished seventh on bottomless ground at Doncaster. With this dramatic change in ground likely to suit him much better it would be somewhat disappointing if he could not put up a more prominent showing this time around. The form of his last race is beginning to work out as the third placed Finelcity has gone on to win a t subsequently. Daryl Holland retains the ride on this son of Invincible Spirit and they can carry on progressing with a decent run tonight.
Arlecchino’s Rock has not been seen since last September but he does some useful turf form to his name. He has been placed on both of his previous efforts here at Windsor and that is worth bearing in mind. This extra furlong is unlikely to cause him too much discomfort and he looks the biggest threat to the selection. Sir Michael Stoute has his yard in red hot form at present so it was surprising that Impediment didn’t do a lot better on his seasonal reappearance. Now that the cobwebs have been finally cleared, he is likely to fare much better tonight and he could well make the frame.
Arithmetic represents some heavy hitting owners and and he looks likely to make a much better three year old. He may well have sneaked under the handicappers radar this evening, but he ought to be worth following as the season progresses. Charlie Hills is bound to have worked with him plenty at home and he can go close.
ARITHMETIC (E/W if 9/2+)