Benny’s Secret comes here very much in need of a morale booster having face planted the grass on his latest outing at Kelso. The testing conditions may well have proven his undoing that day and connections will be praying that any further rain stays away this afternoon. He is still very much unexposed at this level and given the recent resurgence in form from Neil Alexander’s yard, he has to rate high on any shortlist. Lucy Alexander rides him for only the third time over hurdles today but she did manage to win on him when he lost his maiden tag in a bumper at Ayr around this time last year.
Sailors Warn has made the frame in his two most recent starts suggesting that he is starting to rekindle his interest in the game following a long spell in the wilderness. He will not find it easy giving lumps of weight away all around but given the form of his rivals he looks likely to provide the sternest of opposition. Air Glider seemed to regress with each start for the Skelton’s last year so it is perhaps best to catch him when fresh. He has enjoyed a seven month break and is likely to go well for a long way.
Benny’s Secret has had over a month to get over his exertions at Kelso and he can make the most of the weight he receives from his main market rivals. He also has fitness on his side and that could see him right in the mix.
Benny’s Secret (E/W if 9/2+)
Rock Gone makes only his third appearance for Richard Newland this afternoon and makes his comeback following almost five hundred days off the track. He is still far from exposed and with the trainer able to get them ready at the first time of asking, he has to be considered in what looks like a perfectly winnable race. He is fully at home on testing ground and has been placed over distances further than this in the past. With stamina unlikely to be an issue he is of obvious interest.
Cannon Fodder ran a huge race in a a Grade 2 race at Ascot last time when third to the up and coming Vroum Vroum Mag. That looks the best form on offer here and despite top weight in ground she may not appreciate, she ought to provide the biggest threat. Billy No Name ran no sort of race at Kempton last time but with the yard back in form he could be playing for a place along with the well handicapped First Avenue.
Rock Gone has been sent off at ridiculously short odds on his last two runs. The manner of his most recent win at Uttoxeter was impressive though and Richard Newland must hold him in high regard. William Kennedy has a decent enough strike rate for the stable and the combination may just prove the ones to beat here.
Rock Gone (WIN)
Beeves made an encouraging start to life with his new trainer at Doncaster back in December. That run came following a near six month lay off and he managed to get to within three quarters of a length of Ikorodu Road. The front pair pulled over a dozen lengths clear of the remainder of their rivals suggesting that the form would be worth following. The fourth placed Lackamon has come out to win subsequently thus backing up the point.
Another Hero is a remarkably consistent sort. He has won seven of his eleven career starts to date including his two most recent outings. He took the step up to three miles in his stride and this extra furlong is unlikely to cause him too much of an inconvenience. Jonjo O’Neill seems to have his runners back in decent form and he looks the main danger. Looking Well ran well here last time finding only one too strong. He again has solid place claims and commands respect.
Beeves is a lightly raced nine year old and if he takes to the visor as well as he did on that last occasion, he should be capable of putting in another determined effort. Henry Brooke is once again in the saddle and he will be aiming to improve upon the two second placed efforts he has achieved from three attempts on this son of Portrait Gallery.
Beeves (E/W if 9/2+)