London – Inexes can follow up a recent course and distance win in the Western House Hotel Handicap at Ayr on Thursday.
Marjorie Fife’s six-year-old grey carries a 3kg penalty for his convincing success last week. But he has conditions to suit as the rain continues to fall, having proved long before last week’s 0.75-length victory over favourite Shortbackandsides that a soft surface is very much to his liking.
It was good-to-soft last week, and a forecast of soft, heavy in places this time will be no bar to a sixth career success for Inexes.
Others may struggle to reproduce their best form in the circumstances – a comment which stands throughout the card.
In the opening Christmas Parties At Ayr Novice Stakes, newcomer Pendleton may be worth supporting on ground he is bred to handle.
His first-season sire Garswood certainly did not mind a little cut, while trainer Michael Dods continues in fine form.
By the time the last race is run, the 2600m of the Racecourse Christmas Tribute Nights Handicap is going to take some getting.
With assured stamina top of the agenda it may be sensible to side with Foresee – sent up from Worcestershire by Tony Carroll on the back of a decent third under a big weight on similar ground at Ffos Las last month.
At Chelmsford, the Conditions Stakes carries a decent prize and the lightly raced Big Challenge is an intriguing contender.
The Godolphin four-year-old has managed just two runs so far, but on his most recent – almost 18 months ago – was a one-length second to Monarchs Glen.
That rival has since improved to Listed class and was a Royal Ascot winner this summer.
It is likely Big Challenge was flattered to finish so close on his all-weather debut. But he is pitched into decent company again here on his belated return and Saeed bin Suroor may have him ready.
Elsewhere on the card, champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa has obvious prospects of being in business early aboard Aldana in the Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
Simon Crisford’s runner stepped up on her second on debut with a narrow win, despite starting slowly, at Newcastle last month – and can give the weight successfully here.
Worcester’s afternoon jumps card looks competitive, but King Alfonso is going for a four-timer in the Taylor Hart & British Gypsum Handicap Chase.
The nine-year-old’s winning run started in a selling hurdle, but the manner of his course-and-distance success last time out indicated continued improvement over fences. – Press Association