It’s All An Act was heavily punted at Newton Abbot last time when sent off a 5/2 second favourite. He got no further than the second flight though as he jumped out markedly to the right and deposited Richard Johnson on the turf. This looks to be a recovery mission as he now reverts to a right handed track and Richard Johnson has once again been booked to ride by “Shark” Hanlon.
Koup De Kanon returned to the track at Uttoxeter last time following a lengthy break. He is fully entitled to improve for that run and with Donald McCain and Wayne Hutchinson teaming up to good effect in recent weeks, he could well prove to be the likeliest danger. Claragh Native was the outsider of the field when getting the better of Robin’s Command in this very race last season. His form this time around seems a bit shaky, but perhaps the slight drop in trip and a return to this track can bring him back to his best and he has each way claims.
It’s All An Act hasn’t run at this track since winning over the course and distance back in October 2013. With conditions likely to suit, he has to be high on any shortlist this afternoon.
It’s All An Act (WIN)
Cartago has made the frame on all four of his career starts to date. He is now upped in trip for the first time and with Frankie Dettori booked to ride a bold showing can be expected. John Gosden doesn’t have too many maidens knocking around his yard and with the promise he has already shown shown and further improvement likely over this extra furlong, he ought to prove a tough nut to crack.
Strathearn should appreciate a bit of cut in the ground. His two outings on a fast surface have proved somewhat disappointing and any rain that falls is expected to be in his favour. Michael Bell has started to hit a bit of form of late and has teamed up with Jamie Spencer to great effect in recent weeks. If the Gosden horse fails to fire as expected, this son of Halling is likely to pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, Boutan comfortably shed his maiden status at Brighton a couple of weeks ago on what was deemed to be heavy ground. He is the only runner in this nursery to have recorded a win so he too commands respect.
Cartago is bred to be better suited by slightly longer trips. The ground conditions should not pose to many problems for this improving son of Dansili and he should go well.
Byrd In Hand is somewhat of a Brighton specialist and he has recorded three victories at this track in the past. Two of those wins have come at this trip although he has been known to stay a couple of furlongs further. Ciaran McKee takes the reigns for the second time and he managed to finish second on him over this course and distance last time when finding Cahala Dancer far too strong. He ought to know a bit more about his partner this time around and they should prove capable of making the frame.
Harry Bosch was third in similar company over this course and distance back in May. If he is able to repeat that effort he could well prove to be the biggest danger in this line up. All of his three career wins to date though have come over a mile and that somewhat tempers enthusiasm. Like the selection, Lutine Charlie loves it around here. His last two victories have come over this course and distance and Josephine Gordon can claim a handy three pounds off him. If the ground were to dry out significantly, he would certainly enter calculations.
Byrd In Hand is beginning to look like a well handicapped sort and on recent form he has the beating of several of these rivals including El Duque, Tax Reform and Roxy Lane. A return to his favourite venue should be in his favour and it would be of little surprise to see him go in again here.
Byrd In Hand (E/W if 9/2+)