Royal Birth is unbeaten in two over course and distance, with the latest of these being at listed level in February. He hasn’t managed to get his nose in front since but as a result is only 1lbs above that last winning mark and will benefit from his jockeys’ 3lbs claim so could be dangerous today.
Trainer Stuart Williams also runs Shamson who has a good record over the minimum trip and is 5lbs below last winning mark, while Alsvinder is yet to finish outside the first two in five runs on an all-weather surface and both have the ability to get involved.
That said, I’m opting for Gracious John who has won a class 3 off a mark of 106 and a class 2 off a mark of 107 to take his record to two wins from three over course and distance. He has been kept busy over the summer but returns to the all-weather off a mark of 101 and has the benefit of Fran Berry taking over in the saddle, a jockey with a good strike rate and level stakes profit record when riding for the trainer.
GRACIOUS JOHN (WIN) - NAP
written by Dean Kilbryde
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