Mark Johnston comes here with a decent chance with King’s Pavilion and the stable’s distinctive front running style may just see him get his own way up front in this small, but select field. Jockey Joe Fanning will know exactly what he needs to do at this track and the previous outing on heavy ground at Ripon is something to build on so don’t be surprised to see him run a big race for the trainer that has won two of the last three renewals of this.
The likely favourite will be the powerhouse combo of Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute who was last seen winning a maiden on the All Weather last time out and while the trainer has a great strike rate at the track, he looks very short in a race of this time and may come on for his seasonal debut.
Another one making a seasonal reappearance who could be the answer, however, is Richard Fahey’s lightly raced gelding Garcia. The horse was quickly gelded after his debut, but bellied any fears of an after effect by winning his maiden in impressive style on similar ground to today. He has bags of potential up his sleeve in only his third run and looks the sort to really kick on now handicapping. This type of race looks the ideal starting point and he may just get an ideal target to aim at with the race being set up by the Johnston horse.
Mick Channon is no stranger to Beverley and he comes here with a fantastic chance of a winner in the form of his smart three-year-old Blacklister. The horse has been well tried after 16 starts so far, but he has made the frame in exactly half of those runs winning one his first race three starts back. He comes here off the back of a really nice effort in defeat when runner up at Windsor ten days ago. He can run off the same mark here today and is officially 1lb well in at the weighs so the assistance of champion jockey Ryan Moore makes him a solid bet here given that he will once again relish these conditions.
One horse who can give the selection something to think about is the Mark Johnston trained Autumn Blossom who made a winning debut at Southwell back in December, before disappointing in two handicaps soon after. Those performances are a clear worry and hopes are pinned on the switch to turf for the first time, but she is less exposed than most here so does have time on her side.
Another unexposed type who can run well at a price has to be the Richard Fahey runner Carnageo. The three year old has only had the three runs, the best of which came on today’s sort of ground so he looks likely to give the selection most to do at a bigger each way price.
Paul Nicholls is slap bang in the middle of an exciting British trainer’s championship dual with Willie Mullins and so it is no surprise to see him come here with some live chances.
Stilletto was a big fancy at the festival and was heavily back in the market before falling early on in the race so it is easy to forgive him that as he comes here looking for compensation. This looks a good opportunity to add to his two victories over the fences and as long as the removal of the hood that has uncovered his recent progression isn’t counter productive then he looks poised to score again here today.
Pressurize will likely give him most to this about for the Venetia Williams yards. The 10-year-old has won three of his last four starts and the veteran chaser really is in the form of his life at the minute. Those wins came on testing heavy ground, however and so doubts about today’s quicker surface coupled with a further 8lb rise make him vulnerable to the selection.
Kerry Lee’s runner Mayo Time is another interesting one in this small four runner field. The seven year old has been fairly progressive this season as a handicapper and has made the frame in three of his six starts this season. Now 9lb higher than for his win, but the return to better ground is plus having held his form ok on heavier ground in the last few outings.
Hollywoodien completes the field and is certainly not handicapped out of things if on a going day, but his jumping let him down when last seen and he may be vulnerable in this one.