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SUNDAY WEEKENDER – In Association With The Value Rater

14:30 Brighton The second race on the card at the Seaside track is a highly competitive 5f sprint handicap. Shackled N Drawn made a brilliant start to life in the Peter Hedger yard and scored for today’s rider and over today’s trip at Nottingham back in May. The horse has struggled in four runs since and is still 3lb higher than for that win, so reuniting with Harry Bentley may not be enough to land the spoils here. Pucon is on a high at the moment and arrives here in top form. The seven-year-old mare was a wide margin winner at Lingfield two runs back and has course and distance form to her name. Another fine effort at Bath last time on good to soft ground and a repeat of that effort would put her on the premises, but she may be vulnerable to a better handicapped horse and may have to settle for minor places. The answer instead here, could be Amanda Perratt’s Extrasolar. The six-year-old is now 1lb lower than his last winning mark and took a massive step back towards form when an eye catching second at Bath last time out. The horse was denied a clear run that and this looks a good opportunity to gain some compensation so he is the confident selection. Extrasolar (WIN)

15:45 Curragh The Group 3 Royal Whip stakes sees the return to action of Aidan O’Brien’s Derby runner up Us Army Ranger in an exciting looking renewal. The highly-rated colt could not have been more impressive when scoring over course and distance in a maiden on debut earlier this season before following up to land the Chester Vase. The assault on Epsom resulted in a decent second to the impressive dual derby winner Harzand and that form in this field looks more than enough to see him back in the winner’s enclosure this afternoon so he gets the confident nod to enhance his reputation further here in receipt of weight from his elders. There are few horses that have the form to trouble the selection, but Dermot Weld’s Fascinating Rock is definitely one who does. He defeated Coolmore star Found in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over course and distance back in May on soft ground and has some rock solid other form in the book, but meets much quicker ground her today. The five-year-old also has to concede some 10lb to Us Army Ranger so may be up against it and would probably need the aforementioned runner to under perform. Get Lyons Endless Drama is another who could run well. The four-year-old chased home Gleneagles in his final race last term then returned from a long layoff to record an impressive third in the Lockinge. He came undone at Royal Ascot next time out, but did return to form in a conditions race at Naas last time out. Step up in trip now and tongue strap applied, so could improve still, but will likely need to settle for minor placings. US Army Ranger (WIN)

16:30 Brighton The penultimate contest at Brighton is another tight handicap over the minimum 5f trip and boasts three last time out winners in the four runner field. Stuart Williams’ Upavon exploited a lower turf mark when recording his third victory of the season at Yarmouth last time out. The six-year-old’s win came over 6f and he gets a 3lb rise for that. He has course and distance form to his name previously and has won over higher marks on the all weather, but may ultimately be better on the artificial surface. Vincentti won over course and distance earlier this month and beat a subsequent winner that day so a 3lb rise may be manageable, but he might just be inconvenienced by the small field here and so others are preferred. Billyoakes is the only runner in the field not to have won last time out, but continues to slip down the weights despite going close at Lingfield in his latest run, but a long losing run and preference to all weather means he may have to take a minor place today. The four-timer seeking Soaring Spirits therefore has to the pick here. Dean Ivory’s in-form sprinter landed back to back handicaps over 7f before stepping back to this trip to complete the hat trick in impressive fashion at Leicester last time out. He has a 6lb rise to deal with here, but the trainer looks to have found a brilliant opportunity to continue the sequence as Robert Winston retains the ride, so he is the clear pick. Soaring Spirits (WIN)


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