This race features a host of good quality horses dropping down in grade, with one notable entrant taking the step up. Heading the market at the time of writing, THAT IS THE SPIRIT drops down in class and makes only his third start on the AW. Although undoubtedly a solid horse, it’s easy enough to take him on with the tried and trusted AW performer HAMMER GUN. He only missed his five-timer LTO by 2 lengths and moving up a couple of classes from his previous four victories gives him a very nice treatment here and another potential opportunity to get his head in front. Anything over 5/1 on this horse at this distance should be taken as he’s a machine once he gets going. OUTER SPACE’s winning strike rate really ought to be better given the opportunities that he’s had. He’s placed 10 times vs. his 5 wins in a 42 race career and so is a consistent performer, but finds himself a bit short on occasion. That said, his last victory came at track & trip in Feb and from 8lbs higher than this so it’s entirely conceivable that he’ll add to his winning tally again today. BASIL BERRY was an easy winner over shorter last season, winning by 6 lengths in a 3 horse race. Even though down in class and with De Sousa on board, this will be a lot tougher and from the same weight doesn’t make all the appeal here. VISCOUNT BARFIELD has got some good wins to his name and a good strike rate. But he’s been hit and miss win-wise and is a little unpredictable. On a handy mark he could produce anything here so cannot be discounted. MOUNT TAHAN has won over further from 10lbs more than he faces today. Another class dropper, he ought to be able to produce something here. GOLDEN AMBER has tried this trip 10 times and not managed a win so far. He’s 7lbs better off than his last win in 2015, but there aren’t any signs that a win is imminent. WELLIESINTHEWATER has only raced off of 8-7 once before and he was just beaten by a head that day in this class. A run of a similar quality could see he go close here and he’s not at all discounted.
SUMMARY: It would appear that this race will revolve around the performances of THAT IS THE SPIRIT and HAMMER GUN. Given his performances on the AW, preference is for the latter who is entitled to make this step up in grade and continue in his winning ways. OUTER SPACE and WELLIESINTHEWATER could well put in very tough efforts and run close to the winner.
HAMMER GUN 0.5 pts e/w 12/1 Available PaddyPower