PADDOCKS PATENT (THURSDAY) – In Association With The Value Rater

15:40 Salisbury  Bess Of Hardwick has only had three career starts to date and was clearly very much in need of the run when finishing down the field behind California on what was her seasonal debut. The winner of that race has come out to win in a much higher grade subsequently so the run could actually be marked up. This mile and a half trip would appear to be a minimum for this daughter of Dansili and she is likely to strip an awful lot fitter this afternoon. Adam Kirby was on board for her only previous career success at Wolverhampton and with the yard in the best form it has been in all season, she has to be respected in this field. Dubka has won her two most recent outings with the minimum of fuss. She is certainly an improving filly and Sir Michael Stoute ought to know just how good she is having had some excellent fillies in his care over the years. She deserves this step up in grade given what she has done so far but the booking of Ted Durcan hardly takes your breathe away. She receives weight from her older rivals and that too ought to make her the likeliest danger in this race. Eager Beaver arrives in excellent form having won her last two races. They were relatively small fields though and this is something altogether different. Bess Of Hardwick should still have plenty more to offer and it will be disappointing if she can not build on her first run of the year. Whilst she does have a couple of lengths to make up on the Henry Candy trained Perestroika, she is fully entitled to reverse that now she has a run under her belt.  Bess Of Hardwick  (WIN)

16:10 Salisbury Massaat should find things a lot less complicated than when last seen contesting the Derby at Epsom. He was well supported in the blue riband event but soon found himself struggling to see out the mile and a half and he tired in the closing stages. This step back to a mile will certainly be in his favour and with him still being a three year old, he still gets weight from his older counterparts. Any horse can be forgiven for not handling the camber at Epsom and no back on a more conventional track we should see him come right back to his very best. Sovereign Debt has finished runner up in his last four races and is proven at this level. If any rain were to fall it would certainly do him no harm but his eight previous career wins means that he has to be considered as one of the most likely dangers in this contest. Tullius returned to winning ways in the Diomed on Oaks day at Epsom. Having won on a variety of surfaces he is as versatile as they come and is another that ought to make the frame this afternoon. Massaat is the apple of Owen Burrowes’ eye and Paul Hanagan once again comes in for the ride. He is the highest rated runner in this line up and if fully over those recent exertions he ought to remain a force to be reckoned with. The likes of Tupi and Belgian Bill look to be well out of their depth in this field but are useful in the right grade. Massatt (WIN)

16:30 Worcester Holy Cross is one of only a few in this race that has previous hurdling experience and that ought to stand him in good stead. He was beaten only four lengths at Stratford last time following a near nine month sabbatical and is fully entitled to improve for that outing. This step up in distance looks sure to suit with him having done all of his best work in the closing stages last time.  Jonathan Moore is a notable first time jockey booking for the five year old and having partnered six winners from just twenty six rides in the UK this season, the jockey is clearly on to follow. The combination may well prove to be a match made in heaven and they ought to make a bold bid. Mysterious Man was a two time winner on the flat and today marks his first outing in public over hurdles. He has made the switch from Andrew Balding to Brendan Powell and that may well conjure some improvement from the seven year old. This is his first run in almost three years so his fitness may well come under intense scrutiny but with Brendan Powell junior on board he is not likely to be found wanting for assistance from the saddle. Citrus is likely to prove popular given how well that David Pipe often does with his French imports. Softer ground may well have suited the inexperienced four year old but he is still likely to make his presence known. Rebecca Curtis endured a torrid time of things last season by her own usual high standards but recent runs from her limited number of runners suggest that things may be starting to turn around for the trainer. With fitness on his side and at least some recent experience over hurdles, Holy Cross looks destined to go well once again. Holy Cross (E/W if 9/2+)