Despite having over two miles to sort themselves out, the significance of a low draw in this is fairly clear as only two of the last ten winners have been housed in stalls above ten. Austrian School finally ended an agonising sequence of near misses when making a successful return to action at Musselburgh last month, his three pounds penalty for that appears fairly lenient given the authority shown and he has chances from a good draw. Low Sun landed the Cesarewitch in gritty fashion last term, he would have been high on any list and is respected although from stall 17, he faces an uphill task. Cleonte has little to find with Low Sun and made an encouraging return, he looks almost certain to go well under De Sousa and respect is afforded. Fun Mac and Who Dares Wins are selected others with claims though Austrian School might have turned the corner now and is taken to back up his impressive return and land this for Mark Johnston.
AUSTRIAN SCHOOL (WIN) – NAP
We await this evenings all-weather action from the Midlands where, in the fourth race on the card, our selection Sunshineandbubbles is set to line up. After a string of four disappointing efforts where he finished ahead of just 4 of his 35 rivals he returns to a better trip and in a less competitive race. The return to the saddle of Joe Fanning is also a huge positive and as the six year old mare now resides on a handicap mark of 58 (11lbs less than her highest winning weight) she had a fantastic chance of returning to a winners enclosure she knows well.
Fellow course and distance winner Howardian Hills has a great record on the all-weather and with the addition of blinkers for the first time is set to go close. However a 206 day absence is off putting and fitness may not be on his side.
The most intriguing runner has to be the lightly raced filly Givepeaceachance. She improved massively for a step up in trip and foray into handicapping. She claimed second over tonight’s course and distance and if she can build upon that looks open to great improvement. I’m hoping that her lack of experience can go against her and leave top weight Sunshineandbubbles with her head in front.
SUNSHINEANDBUBBLES (WIN) – NAP
The Cambridge News – PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk:
15:35 Chester – AUSTRIAN SCHOOL (WIN)
The Jersey Evening Post – Rory Paddock:
19:30 Wolverhampton – SUNSHINEANDBUBBLES (WIN)
East Anglian Daily Times – Dean Kilbryde:
15:35 Chester – CLEONTE (WIN)
Norwich Evening News – Chris Connolly:
13:50 Chester – BARAWEEZ (WIN)
Ipswich Star – Matt Polley:
15:10 Ascot – APLOMB (WIN)