2.25 Sandown: G3 Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle, 2m
I was incredibly taken by Malaya’s return to the track three weeks ago at Ascot for the first since December after falling subsequently twice. The mare wasn’t fancied at all as a 20/1 shot but outran her price tag by a wide margin.
The five-year-old travelled much the best for the majority of the race, jumping well and making stylish progress in the closing stages. She didn’t get the clearest of runs two out but also seemed to tire significantly jumping the last, without being too many too hard questions asked either way.
Malaya is down to a handy mark and the way she travelled the last time indicates a drop to 2 miles will suit. So should the slower ground. In a race that does look for the taking she has a massive chance.
10pts win – Malaya @ 5/1 MB
2.40 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 8.5f
Last season in hands of Roger Varian, Nawar tracked in the right direction, looking like a horse that’s close to get his head in front. His last two pieces of form in Handicaps at Kempton over a mile are rock solid form and his second- and third placed efforts are to be upgraded taking into context how the races unfolded.
He changed yards since, off the track over the winter, and now first time out for Martin Bosley, back in a Novice race. I suspect he’s fit for this outing with George Wood booked.
The slight step up in trip sure suit, no doubt. Nawar hasn’t too much to fear in this race in my book also as he is the most experienced in the field, while the others don’t look world beaters either.
10pts win – Nawar @ 6/1 MB
4.25 Wolverhampton: Class 2 Handicap, 6 furlongs
Not particularly original in the context of the race, but Corinthia Knight is the obvious selection here. He got close in a handful of hot sprints in recent weeks, ever since he won off his current mark over 5f at Lingfield.
His last two performances, particularly when beaten by only a neck by Royal Birth, rates the strongest piece of form here, I feel. The winner had an absolute dream run, Corinthia Knight not quite so much.
Having the opportunity to race off 105 once more, even though stepping up to 6f, which should not be an issue whatsoever, given he’s a 3x distance winner as well as having course form, Corinthia Knight looks poised for finding his way back to the winners circle.
10pts win – Corinthia Knight @ 11/2 WH