Desert Queen ran out an easy winner on what was her seasonal reappearance and her debut effort over fences at Market Rasen last month. She readily accounted for the well regarded David Pipe runner La Vaticane as well as Run Ructions Run from the Richard Newland yard. As a result she carries a penalty here this afternoon but this progressive type looks capable of even better still. She stays a good deal further than this having won over three furlongs further last time but she is still more than capable at this trip and wont mind the good to soft ground. Noel Fehily takes over in the saddle from Nick Schofield, but he has won on her before and they have to rank highly on any shortlist.
Briery Belle has a similar profile to the selection and like Desert Queen, she was able to win on what was her chase debut. That success came at a much lower level than this but she is a specialist at this sort of trip. She will certainly strip a lot fitter for that reappearance and she is more than capable of making her presence felt. The Organist fluffed her lines when put firmly in her place by the re-opposing Tagrita. It would come as no surprise to see that form confirmed given the excellent form of Paul Nicholl’s runners. Rock On The Moor makes a trip across the Irish Sea for Jessie Harrington and Robie Power. She will need to up her game quite significantly if she is to trouble the main protagonists.
DESERT QUEEN (WIN)
So Fine has dropped to a fair handicap mark and it shouldn’t be too long before he is back in the winner’s enclosure. He was given a tough assignment at the first time of asking this season when tackling a listed hurdles race at Cheltenham last month. He pulled up when all chance was lost and James Best did the right thing for the sake of the horse. Richard Johnson is back in the saddle today and he has secured three of the ten year old’s five career wins. This trip would now be a minimum for the Philip Hobbs inmate nowadays and he is expected to come on in leaps and bounds from his previous run. The ground will not be an issue for him and he looks sure to be involved this afternoon.
Brandon Hill has to concede weight all around today and this eight year old has only had a handful of runs. He is still completely unexposed and is another that is fully entitled to come on for his seasonal reappearance. This return to three miles is certainly in his favour and if any further rain were to fall his chances would increase substantially. Tom Lacey is doing incredibly well with whatever he sends to the racetrack so he looks to be a very serious contender. Bears Rails is proven at the trip but he was bitterly disappointing when finishing last of four at Chepstow last time despite his trainer being in terrific form. Prior to that he was a model of consistency and if recapturing his best form he can make the frame.
SO FINE (E/W id 9/2+)
Magic Mustard recorded a first career win when going in at Fontwell on his most recent start for Kerry Lee and Jamie Moore. Always held up that day by his rider they made significant headway to go second before jumping the last flight. The duo then asserted themselves on the run in to see of the challenge of Port Navas in the closing stages. With that morale boosting success under his wing, his confidence will have been boosted and in a field where many are struggling to find their true level of form, he may well just go in again.
What A Diva is the only real consistent type lining up in opposition and she produced her best ever effort when going down by less than a length at Exeter last time. Sean Bowen has ridden her plenty in the past and he is once again in the plate today. The step up in trip seemed to bring about that improvement last time so it remains to be seen as to whether she can continue on an upward curve. If she does she looks a formidable adversary. Norse Light is still a baby compared to a few of these. He was making smooth headway in his last race when coming to grief four out. If none the worse for that effort he could well make the frame.
MAGIC MUSTARD (WIN)