Shifting Star may be a veteran these days but he still knows every blade of grass on this track. The ten year old is a previous course and distance winner and he has been placed here on numerous other occasions. He is versatile regarding ground conditions and he remains well handicapped on the best of his old form. Shifting Star has maintained a decent level of form this year and with so many of his rivals out of form coming into this race, he has to be high on any shortlist.
Monsieur Valentine has only has six career starts and finally got a first win when landing a handicap at Chepstow at the end of August. He was well backed that day and made the most of a drop in class to see off the likes of Lady Bayside and Mrs Warren. Unlike many in this race, he is open to any amount of improvement and with his weight for age allowance he commands utmost respect. Snappy Guest is another three year old with winning course and distance form. He is proven on this type of ground but has not been seen since that victory back in July. If George Margarson has him fully wound up, he should finish in the frame.
Shifting Star is partnered by William Carson who has ridden him when he has won on the last three occasions. Despite top weight in this race, this sort of company is his true level these days and he is more than capable of getting involved in the finish.
Shifting Star (E/W if 9/2+)
Sadma made the most of a summer break to record a first ever win when last seen out at Chepstow a few weeks ago. He made the most of an error by the reopposing Oscar Jane to be gifted the race and his confidence will have been boosted by that. Will Featherstone is once again in the saddle and his seven pound claim will come into play here. Sadma has been placed in similar company at this track twice in the past and with him only being a six year old further improvement cannot be ruled out.
Oscar Jane was travelling well when coming to grief in that aforementioned Chepstow race. Whether or not he would have won is open to plenty of debate but Johnny Farrelly is not afraid to have another go. The drop back to two miles certainly seems a smart move by connections and if his jumping holds up he has to be a leading player. Native Display is eased in grade following a twenty four length drubbing by Roadie Joe at Warwick last time. Andrew Tinkler retains the ride and now that he is likely to be at peak fitness he too ought to be capable of a bold showing.
Sadma has not been punished too harshly by the handicapper for his recent win and he is more likely than not to have improved for the outing. If turning up here in a similar mood he should prove difficult to beat.
Flashy Queen came right back to her very best at Nottingham last time when beating Burning Thread by a neck. The form of that race was franked in no uncertain terms just yesterday when Burning Thread won at Bath. This daughter of Bahamian Bounty is proven on a variety of surfaces and sprinters are often worth following when they strike a bit of form.
Doc Charm drops back down in grade having failed to make his mark in a classier event at Haydock last time. He is still only a three year old but with Karl Burke’s yard hitting form of late, he has to rate as a lively danger. Alpha Delphini is an improving sort and shed his maiden at Beverley with the minimum of fuss. This is his handicap debut but it would be foolish to rule out his chances based on a lack of experience, He is improving with each run and it may not take a lot of natural progression to get past some of these.
Flashy Queen was delivered fast and late last time out and with plenty of rivals vying for pace early on, this race could ultimately fall into her lap. Oisin Murphy has partnered her twice in the past and he will be keen to deploy like minded tactics here. Granted luck in running she should have more to offer and can deliver yet again.
Flashy Queen (WIN)