China Excels is lightly raced for his age and has a course and distance win to his name. He won last time out at Wolves when last seen in March, with the re-opposing See Vermont back in third, so has to be considered even though he has a career high mark to contend with.
Mightly Zip hails from a yard with a great record here although with no wins from six on turf and no wins from four over todays’ trip its difficult to see him get involved here.
Razin Hell has been in good form on the all-weather over six furlongs but has won over this trip previously so is another capable of getting in the mix if transferring that form back to turf but preference is for Windforpower.
The selection is now 8lbs below his last winning mark and showed himself to be returning to form with a well-run third at Thirsk at the weekend. His record here at Beverley isn’t the most inspiring but has shown himself to be a consistent performer throughout his career and the Tracy Waggott trained six year old is once again partnered with Joe Fanning who has a winning strike rate of almost 25% here at Beverley.
Windforpower (E/W if 9/2+)
Count Montecristo had started to become a little frustrating in 2015, posting four straight second placed finishes prior to a commanding six length victory when racing over today’s trip last time out. Based on previous runs on return from a break he should be capable of a strong run today at a course where trainer Kevin Ryan has an excellent level stakes profit record.
Farham is the forecast favourite and finally opened his account at the ninth time of asking in a class five handicap at Haydock last month. He has only been raised 2lbs but steps back in to class four company for today’s race, a level at which he has so far struggled to get competitive.
Taper Tantrum comes next in the market and looks to be the biggest danger to the selection. He hasn’t won in almost two years but posted a couple of solid placed efforts last summer and ran an encouraging third when last seen at Chelmsford last month.
Hard To Handel makes his debut for David O’Meara and although looks a little high in the weights he won on his only other attempt over todays’ trip and could be open to further improvement for a yard known for first time out winners.
A final mention needs to go to Marsh Pride who has raced three times off his current mark without success but is officially the highest rated horse in the race and could have a fitness advantage over some rivals having ran at Pontefract last month.
Count Montecristo (E/W if 9/2+)
Thundering Home was a course and distance winner last time out and although only winning by a neck he meets the second and third on identical terms and looked to have a little more in hand. He has a good record here at Wincanton and also has a decent strike rate over the trip so should be capable of another win today.
Sir Dylan again looks like the most likely to challenge the selection and his only win over hurdles came here at Wincanton. However he has finished behind Thundering Home in his last two races and I feel would have to improve again to reverse the form.
Most of the remainder arrive here with little or no recent form to speak of, although Old Magic has at least got a recent win under his belt yet has a further 3lbs rise for a placed effort last time out so may prove vulnerable today.
Thundering Home (WIN)