Sonny The One is still a maiden after eight career starts but he made his seasonal return at Wincanton a few weeks ago where he was narrowly beaten by Squire Trelawney. That run is likely to have blown away any cobwebs and he should be capable of putting together another solid effort. He was giving three pounds to his conqueror last time and that may well have contributed to his defeat.
The Green Ogre wasn’t beaten far behind Yabbadabbado at Kempton last month and this locally trained runner is likely to prove popular with punters on track. He has been beaten out of sight previously when aimed at these middle distance races but with his stable in fine form he looks to be a lively threat on a track that he relishes. Ashcott Boy arrives here in excellent shape and looks for a third straight win. Like The Green Ogre the trip is an unknown for him and the only previous time he raced here he was well beaten. Venetian Lad on the other hand goes well fresh and is a previous course and distance winner. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if he were to make the frame at rewarding odds.
Brendan Powell has partnered Sonny The One in six of his eight career starts to date and with Colin Tizzard enjoying a purple patch at present, this five year old has to be high on any shortlist.
Sonny The One (WIN)
Mica Mika has been in decent form in the flat this year and racked up a hat trick of wins over ten furlongs at Doncaster, Newcastle and Chester. He held his form well during the summer and was also placed in decent handicaps at Epsom and Ayr. This marks a return to hurdling where when last tried he was successful at Wetherby in 2011. Richard Fahey clearly feels that there are races to be had with him in this sphere and the booking of Brian Hughes certainly catches the eye.
Moidore has been sparingly campaigned in 2015 and he makes his seasonal return following a. six month break this afternoon. This son of Galileo will appreciate the likely soft ground and a free falling handicap mark and could well prove to be the biggest danger in the field. Watt Brroderick returned to winning ways at Ludlow last month but this softening ground is an unknown. He is consistent and comes here race fit so should sneak a place all the same. Bladoun and Whispering Harry made just need this run and are best watched today.
Mica Mika made the frame in his only two previous outings over hurdles. He is still only a seven year old and if rekindling his enthusiasm for this game, he looks the one that they all have to beat. The Richard Fahey team are in excellent form and he commands respect at this level.
Mica Mika (WIN)
Lacey returned to winning ways when getting the better Kastela Stari over this course and distance a couple of weeks ago. He gave weight away to all bar one rival but ran out a convincing winner in the end under Adam Kirby suggesting that the pair could well go in again if asked. Lacey loves it around this all weather track and has made the frame on twelve previous occasions here.
Golden Jess is a useful dual purpose performer who has won over two miles here and even over three miles at Cartmel in a hurdles race. He had absolutely no chance in a top class event at Wetherby last time when unseating his rider but a return to this level could well spark a revival and he could well prove the biggest threat to the selection. Rum Swizzle is a fast improving three year old. He has gone well at this track in the past but this extra half a mile is a complete unknown. If seeing out the trip he gets plenty of weight from older rivals and he too may well get involved. Lamps is a tricky customer and refused to race last time out whilst Jack Bear has shown no indication that he acts on this surface in two previous attempts.
Lacey is as genuine as they come and he knows every twist and turn of this track. With Adam Kirby likely to give him another quiet ride, they are unlikely to be seen until very late on in the race.
Lacey (E/W if 9/2 +)