Highest Quality was slowly into her stride when making her debut at Doncaster last month where she finished fourth behind Hope And Faith in a six furlong maiden. The penny finally seemed to drop as the race drew to a close and she was beaten a little over two lengths in the end. She is bound to have learned a great deal that day and with this slight step up in trip looking sure to suit, it will be of no surprise if she gets off the mark at the second time of asking. Harry Bentley’s last two rides for the yard have been winning ones and this daughter of Invincible Spirit has to be high on any shortlist this afternoon.
Quite Smart is expected to improve for her seasonal reappearance where her eight month absence from the track certainly did her no favours. She was headed in the closing stages of that last race and couldn’t respond despite the best urgings of Freddie Tylicki. That run should have cleared away any cobwebs and she is likely to be seen to much better effect this afternoon. Graham Lee takes over in the saddle for the first time and the duo look the biggest threat to the Godolphin representative. As Good As Gold makes her debut for Richard Fahey this afternoon having spent all of last season with Aiden O’ Brien in Ballydoyle. She was considered good enough to run in Group Three races at the Curragh albeit in a minor support role for better fancied stablemates. This grade of race should be much more to her liking and if she has improved for the recent change of scenery, she is another that could go well. The likes of Arousal and Outlaw Kate have shown nothing of significance in recent starts and are readily passed over.
Highest Quality really did catch the eye with that first effort of her career and she is taken to progress past some readily exposed types today. The yard seem to have found her a decent opportunity and it is up to her to make the most of it.
Highest Quality (WIN)
Kylach Me If U Can was doing all of his best work in the closing stages of a similar handicap at Beverley last time and that was his first outing in a little over six months. That was also the first time that Shane Gray had ridden him and they are likely to improve for making a return to a faster surface today. The three year old was not disgraced in much better company on what was his final start last year when he was only beaten two lengths by the well regarded Tachophobia from the Richard Fahey stable.
Rosie Crowe is likely to go off favourite for this event given that she won over the course and distance last time out. That was her third outing in as many weeks though and connections will be hoping that they have not gone to the well one too many times here. The step up to a mile certainly seemed to bring about some improvement, but she could prove vulnerable now that she is upped in class and faces some in form rivals. Maureb is lightly raced and set about making all at this track last time. Like Rosie Crowe she faces her stiffest task to date but Ben Curtis has been engaged to ride once again and if seeing out the extra furlong, she commands utmost respect. The biggest threat to the selection could come from Sir Lancelott. He is a model of consistency and Keith Dalgleish has his string in rude health. This one mile trip seems to be his optimum distance and with Philip Makin in the saddle, he will not be lacking for any assistance.
Kylach Me If U Can returns to company where he should feel fully at home. Now that he should be at peak fitness, a chance is taken on him to get off the mark for the first time this year.
Kylach Me If U Can (E/W)
Muqarred made a winning start to his handicapping career when last seen out at this track a few weeks ago. He was held up by Dane O’ Neill on that occasion and similar tactics are likely to be deployed by Paul Hanagan this evening. The form of that last win has started to work out with the likes of Pensax Boy and Gabrial The Tiger running solid races at Doncaster last Saturday night. This step up in trip should not prove a problem for this son of Speightstown and he should have more to offer on what will only be his second ever career start on turf.
Cyril showed much improved form when third to the Muqarred in that last race and is now much better off at the weights. Keagan Latham keeps the ride on Kevin Ryan’s charge and they are likely to provide the most formidable opposition to the selection yet again. Good to firm ground clearly suits and with prove track experience, they are likely to go close yet again. Third Time Lucky shed his maiden status on his seasonal reappearance at Musselburgh last month. That effort came on rain softened ground and against lesser opposition. This is a significant rise in grade and he may find life much tougher here. Occult has now qualified for handicaps following three runs in maiden company. His stable is certainly firing on all cylinders and with the all-conquering Ryan Moore set to ride, they ought to be capable of much better. Goring comes into this race very much at the top of his game having finished first past the post at Wolves last October he was subsequently disqualified and was given a break by connections. He rewarded their patience by delivering a power packed effort to gain an official first career win at Beverley last month. As a result he has to give weight away all around this afternoon and he may prove vulnerable to classier types.
Muqarred is fully entitled to have come on in leaps and bounds from his seasonal debut and should strip much fitter here. Saeed Bin Suroor is not known to overreach with his runners and he will be confident that his three year old can go onto better things later in the year.