(2.15) Beach Break has finished runner-up for me on his last three starts including a Cartmel run at the end of June. He deserves a reward for his consistency and hopefully it is a case of seventh time lucky today. The dangers to that result would appear to be Lucca Lady, with good recent form and The Steward.
(2.45) Alfie’s Choice was a comfortable winner here at the end of May finishing seven lengths clear of the second. He returns after a two-month break and with some improvement, he should go well in this seven runner contest. The main opposition, despite a seven-pound penalty, may come from Dreams of Theatre, successful here at the start of July. My horse should be suited by the extra distance and has a good chance.
(3.50) Lapalala is still a maiden after thirteen runs under rules. She has shown ability in a couple of placed efforts but has been disappointing recently. I hope she bounces back to her old form and gets competitive in this grade. I feel she has a great chance with most to fear from Just a tenner, winner here last time and Uttoxeter winner Celtic Monarch.
(3.50) Dear Sire makes his chase debut today. He has won seven hurdles and returns to action after a two-month break. He has been schooling well at home and hopefully, he translates this to the track. A clear round will give him a good opportunity today. Trafalgar Rock and course winner in May, Applesandpierres, may be the main threats.
(4.25) Raise A Spark took well to fences when winning for me here at the end of May beating Birch Hill. The form of the race has been ranked as the latter won nicely at Stratford earlier this month. If my horse turns up in the same form today he should have a favourites chance on his second chase start. I am looking forward to the ride.
(4.55) Morning Royalty has won for me on a number of occasions at the track. He ran a good race here at the end of May finishing fourth in a handicap hurdle. He reverts to chasing today and will be suited by the trip and track. He is a multiple course winner and despite his eleven years is still capable of success. Earthmovers returned to action earlier this month and maybe the main danger.
(5.25) Smart Ruler, a five-time hurdles winner, has been successful for me on three occasions including twice here. He didn’t stay the longer trip last time and should benefit from today’s distance and the drop in grade. Hopefully this twelve-year-old will recapture some of his old sparkle and get into contention. Lord Ferndale ran well at Stratford last week and maybe the main opponent.