London – Equiano Springs landed a competitive heat at Newmarket last month and can follow up on Tuesday in the Betway Optional Claiming Handicap at Newcastle.
A winner at Doncaster back in May, he had been running consistently well through the summer until he turned in a poor eﬀort at Ascot at the beginning of September.
He was a bit keen on that occasion and faded at the ﬁnish – but his neck triumph at Newmarket righted that wrong, and it would not be a surprise if he could strike again.
Aleneva found Group 3 company far too tough last time, but the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Conditions Stakes could be more up her street. The form of her debut win back in June reads particularly well, because she had Walk In Marrakesh a short head back in second – with that runner having gone on to win a Listed event as well as being placed in Grade 1 company in Canada.
However, Aleneva was then oﬀ the track until last month, when she ﬁnished last of nine in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr – never looking like troubling the main contenders. She might just have needed that outing a bit – and getting 4kg from each of her rivals here, that ﬁllies’ weight allowance could prove telling.
Grand Bazaar disappointed when sent oﬀ a hot favourite on his debut but can make amends in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays EBF Novice Stakes. He was a 210,000 guineas purchase, and Haydock punters were keen to support him over 1600m on Merseyside last month, but the soft conditions looked to be his undoing as he could ﬁnish only third for John Gosden. He lacked the necessary kick when push came to shove, so it perhaps makes sense to drop back to 1400m for this event.
Gosden can also be on the mark with Arabist in the 32Red.com Handicap at Kempton. This Invincible Spirit colt got oﬀ the mark at the third time of asking, triumphing as an odds-on favourite in an extended 2200m maiden at Haydock last month.
He came home a length clear that day – after showing some decent form in his two previous starts – and given the testing nature of the Haydock ground, Arabist should certainly take this marginal step up in trip in his stride.
Thegreatestshowman has dropped a touch in the ratings and can take advantage in the 32Red Handicap. Back-to-back wins in July and August saw him edged up to a mark of 86. But he has not hit the mark in his last three outings, so the handicapper has relented a little. He certainly remains competitive for Amy Murphy, though, and is one for the short list.
Sweet Forgetme Not struck over 1200m at Yarmouth back in July and can hit the mark again over the course and distance in the Lavish Hair Beauty Aesthetics Handicap.
Southﬁeld Stone is the pick in the Best Mate Beginners’ Chase at Exeter. The six-year-old was good enough to win at Grade 2 level and be placed in Grade 1 company over hurdles last term, but he failed to sparkle on his ﬁnal start at Aintree in the spring. The ground that day was probably against him and it was his seventh run of the season, so perhaps the two factors took their toll.
Paul Nicholls has made no secret of the fact he views Southﬁeld Stone as a chasing type and a winning debut looks perfectly possible. – Press Association